This post, Shepherd, Potter, Spy–and the Star Namer: A Story of Family & Survival, was made possible with a copy of Shepherd, Potter, Spy–and the Star Namer by Peggy Consolver – Author for review as part of the Homeschool Review Crew.
If you have been reading posts on this site for a while, you know that we are a family of readers. I have practically shunned TV in favor of reading at night. Which means I have a lot of books on my Goodreads list for the 2017 challenge. Although I fill some of those nights with ‘light’ books, I enjoy throwing in a title that takes more time to work through and digest.
Shepherd, Potter, Spy–and the Star Namer by Peggy Consolver – Author is one such meaty title that received my attention this past month.
Shepherd, Potter, Spy–and the Star Namer
In the story, Keshub matures and must face adversities. Yet, he feels a tinge of fear when his Baba and others begin talking about the Hebrews. They are now in the area and appear ready to slay everyone in their quest to take Canaan as their own.
It is the uncertainty of what will happen and the need to prepare for an eventual attack that has Keshub’s older brother, Eskie, has been assigned to the new job of spy.
The shift of Eskie’s time to the new task opens up the chance for Keshub to leave his home. He is given the job of assistant to Uncle Yaakoub. This allows him to travel to Jericho to help sell their family’s pottery.
Eventually, he finds himself being dispatched on a variety of duties wherever the need arises. This includes aiding the locals in building up a supply store and assiting as a spy on the Hebrews’ activities.
All throughout, he is reminded by his Baba of how there is a Star Namer. They speculate that maybe it is the same as the Hebrew God, which is all powerful. Even more important in their minds is whether there is a way to escape total destruction in the wake of the Hebrews’ path.
Meet Peggy Consolver – Author
The daughter of a wheat farmer in Oklahoma, Penny Miracle Consolver is no stranger when it comes to working hard. She also has a heart for the Bible, digging deeper in her own studies while teaching Sunday school and leading women’s Bible studies.
Shepherd, Potter, Spy–and the Star Namer was written after much research, including her participation in an archeological dig and a visit to Gibeon which is in the Palestinian West Bank. An article on the Associates for Biblical Research website recounts a bit of her experience.
Additional Resources for Shepherd, Potter, Spy–and the Star Namer
The study is broken into 13 units. Users of the guide study the events of events of Joshua 9-10 as well as the last days of the Israelites time in the desert.
A blank map of Canaan allows for a geographic look at the events. Beyond links to additional research & YouTube videos on key subject material, the guide offers short writing assignments.
Parts of her research and a few videos are available to all on her website. The map of Canaan is also here. While not as complete as the study guide, it is a great way to help expand upon the experience when reading Shepherd, Potter, Spy–and the Star Namer.
My Thoughts on Shepherd, Potter, Spy–and the Star Namer
First and foremost, I will say that this is not a title you pick up when tired or not wanting to have your brain engaged. It is well written, but falls into the category I call ‘dense’ literature. There is just so much detail involved. Plus, the historical time period is so foreign that it takes a while to find your footing and connect with the characters and events which unfold in the title.
The first half of the book took me longer to read than the second half. Anything more than 2 chapters at a time seemed like too much. As I said, it wasn’t because there was an issue with the written word. But, rather that there was so much to digest that I needed time between to ruminate. In that way, this title is really more of a Bible study through a fictional retelling of Scripture.
What I did find is that by the end of the book I was ready to read the Bible for all mention of the Gibeonites.
I’ll admit that sections of the Old Testament seem ‘dry’ to me and hard to read. All I could recall of Joshua was the story of their march around Jericho and the wall coming down. Now I know that there was much more to the Israelites reclaiming Canaan as their home. I’d call the ability to get someone to pick up their Bible and learn more of Jewish history a success.
My Recommendation for Use
As much as my youngest son loves to learn more about the Bible and times long ago, this is not a title he’ll be experiencing for a while. Rather, it is best suited for someone in high school or an adult. And, I really believe that using the study guide with the story would bring so much more to life for all involved.
Do you enjoy historical fiction titles based on Scripture?
Are there particular sections of the Bible which you find more challenging to read?
Don’t just take my word for how we found this to be. Visit Peggy Consolver – Author Reviews on the Homeschool Review Crew website to see what other homeschooling parents thought about this book.