Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Hittite Warrior (Bethlehem Books)

History was never my strongest subject in school. I made As and Bs, but I was bored the ENTIRE time. Boring textbooks. Long lists of people and dates to memorize. To people who enjoy that sort of thing, I applaud you. It has never been me and will never be me. That's why homeschooling is an appealing option for my family. You can pull from more sources than just textbooks, like living books or historical fiction. One such company, Bethlehem Books, is doing a masterful job targeting the homeschooling crowd with their impressive catalog of reprinted "historical fiction, adventure tales, biographies, and family stories." Today, I will be reviewing one of their popular books entitled Hittite Warrior.

Hittite Warrior tells the story of a teenage Hittite boy named Uriah-Tarhund. He came from a people who ruled the "northern world" and the Egyptians ruled the "southern world." His father was a lord and kinsman of the chief province of Arzawa. One fateful day, in the 13th year of the reign of the king, his father and he embarked to Hattusas to pay tribute. Little did he know that trip would end so tragically. While on his journey, his mother and sister were killed. His entire province was decimated and many were killed. Three years later his father died, but not before making Uriah promise to travel to Canaan and live there. Travelling with a caravan, his decision to save the life of a young trader named Hannibaal took him to Tyre where he made a friend named Jotham, a Hebrew. This friendship set him on a path that would change his life forever.

The book is based during the time of the Judges, which was roughly 1200 B.C. If you have read through the Old Testament book of Judges with your children, they will recognize the two important names of Deborah and Barak. Deborah and Barak are the two judges who defeated the Canaanites in Judges 4. They will also recognize the song of Deborah from Judges 5. They will also learn a bit of geography. There is a tiny map in the front that serves as a basic guide for the region of the book, but they can further their knowledge by having an atlas or world map and track the journeys of Uriah. Your children will also be exposed to different societies, religious practices, and customs of these ancient people. For example, they will learn about an ancient Ammonite god named Moloch who required the sacrifice of a young child to appease him.

This is an A+ historical fiction novel for children 10 and up. I, a 30+ male, had a hard time putting this book down and read it in one weekend. While I would argue that this book is more geared towards a male audience, girls might enjoy it as well. What I really loved about this book is the era and region it was written about. So much historical fiction based in ancient times focuses on Egypt or Rome and that's it. Ms. Williamson chose a neglected but equally important region and delivered a masterpiece. I am very pleased with Bethlehem Books' Living History Library series and cannot wait to dive into another book. Be sure to check out other books from this author, particularly God King.

This book was provided to me for free by Bethlehem Books in exchange for an honest review. If you found this review helpful, please click here and hit Yes!