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Our Enthusiastic Book Recommendation
Duncan's War by Douglas Bond
by Todd, Nicole and Brady Johnson

We started reading Duncan's War by Douglas Bond sometime during the fall.  We became so excited about the story that we had to put the children under strict orders not to touch the book during the day, but they had to wait until family reading hour.  "No Peeking!" was the command they would hear when their hand would reach slyly for the book on the end table.

Duncan's War is followed by The King's Arrow and then finally Rebel's Keep.  This series, called the Crown and Covenant, follows the lives of the M'Kethe family during 17th Century Scotland as they endured brutal persecution at the hand of King James and King Charles.  Those that remained loyal to King Jesus called themselves the Scottish Covenanters.  This is the story of those who must wrestle with honoring God and applying His word while living amidst a government that is trying to obliterate Christianity.

Todd:  As a reader, I was particularly struck with what I would do if I were in this situation with my own family.  While reading these stories, I had to grapple with the scriptures as I put myself in their shoes.  As a father and a Christian, I want to honor God and obey His word above all else.  And yet I desire desperately to protect my children from all outside harm.  In the story, the children watch their father's actions as he attempts to obey King Jesus above all others, and while they do not fully understand them at the time, they come to appreciate them more fully later as they grow and mature.  The father never compromises his integrity in the midst of war.  He clearly keeps the perspective that this life on earth is not the only one we live for.  There is one to come.  How we live and die here will show Whom it is we honor.  This is how I want to live.  I want to set a strong example for my children as I live out God's word even during difficult times.  While reading these stories, I was struck once again that how we live in this life has implications in the next.  We are to live for the Audience of One.

R.C. Sproul, Jr. writes, "Douglas Bond in King's Arrow once again will inspire boys to become men, and men to become men of God."

Nicole (age 12): I thoroughly enjoyed this series!  The books are suspenseful and yet touching; action-packed and yet thought-provoking.  The descriptions in the books can be a bit gruesome at times, so I recommend that you read them together as a family and skim through sections that you do not think your children can handle well.

Brady (age 10): This is a story about two brothers, a sister and their families as they join together again to stand firm against the wicked King Charles, who hates Christians.  Such suspense!  If I had to walk in their shoes, there would be only one thing to do - Pray!  And that is exactly what they do.  You should read these stories to your family.

While reading these books, we learned about Scottish Oatcakes.  Just reading about them made our mouths water.  We found the recipe and it has become a great family treat.  One of the great aspects about this recipe is that there are no eggs in the batter, so if our little girls snitched the dough, there was no harm done.  Our children enjoyed rolling out the dough and using cookie cutters to make fun shapes.  Here is the recipe for you to enjoy as well:

SCOTTISH OATCAKES

1 1/2 C scottish oats (same as steel-cut oats)

1/2 C all purpose flour

3/4 t sugar

1/4 t salt

1/4 t baking powder

1/4 C melted butter (1/2 stick)

1/3 C hot water

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Grease a baking sheet.  Combine flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and oats.  Stir until combined.  Add butter until evenly distributed.  Fork in hot water until evenly moistened.  Roll dough out 1/4 inch thick.  Cut with round cutter 2 1/2 or 3 inches in diameter.  Bake 25 minutes until golden brown.  Cool on rack.  Store at room temperature in air tight container for two days.

We love these served with butter and jam.  Also wonderful with cream cheese!  Yum!  Give them a try.

The children also put together lapbooks about what they were learning through reading this series.  They included the recipe above, a book report, map of Scotland, vocabulary and a translation sheet, some coloring pictures of Scottish highlanders and covenanters, plus more.  It was a good way for them to summarize their learning.  If you would like to read more about putting together a lapbook, you can read this article here.

We hardily recommend these books and you can purchase them from your favorite curriculum supplier or from Amazon.com.  You can also read more reviews and testimonials for these books by clicking on the links below.  You are not obligated to buy anything by clicking on these links - they will just direct you to the Amazon website for more information.  From our family to yours, we hope that you enjoy these books as much as we have.

  

In His Grip,

Todd Johnson

Knowledge Quest, Inc.


 
     
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