I absolutely love to read, always have. I love self-help books, fiction, non-fiction, really anything. I get really excited when we are given a book to read for The Review Crew. The past month, we have been reading The Heart Changer from Jarm Del Boccio, Author. I was sent a copy of the book that I was able to read in iBooks on my iPhone. The book opened up easily and has a beautiful cover. The book also has a clickable Table of Contents which is super helpful.
The Heart Changer is a historical fiction book and is also Jarm’s (pronouneced Yarm) first book. The book is aimed towards middle grades and is 112 pages of a great and easy to follow story. I started reading the story first and was at Chapter 6 before I even realized it. The story is so well written, it really draws you in. I told London, my 12 year old, that he just had to read the first chapter to start and he read 5 because he wanted to continue to find out what happened.
The story gives you a more in-depth look into the life of the servant girl mentioned in 2 Kings 5:2-“In one of their raids against Israel, the Syrians had carried off a little Israelite girl, who became a servant of Naaman’s wife.” The Bible doesn’t give her a name but Jarm calls her Miriam. The story follows Miriam from being taken from her family to being taken to the King of the Syrian Army’s, Naaman and his wife, to be her servant. Miriam, rightfully so, is very bitter towards God for this fate. Little does she know, God is using her for something bigger than she can understand. In this story, you can see and feel her heart changing which is a must in order to fulfil her purpose.
I also had access to the Teacher’s Guide which was really helpful. It starts off with some information about Jarm so you can get to know the author of the story. She also includes a Q&A about Miriam which I thought was really cool! The teachers guide also gives you some questions to ponder about Miriam’s life, some ways to research the setting, activities to go along with the story as well as some Syrian recipes.
We really loved this story. You become easily attached and invested in Miriam, constantly rooting for her. It’s inspiring to see her change her heart and love her enemy, as we are called to do. This is a great story and I highly recommend it, not just to middle school students but adults as well!
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