It’s called The Heart Changer and is available as either a digital book (epub or mobi) or a good old fashioned physical book if you still enjoy holding the pages in your hand. It is only 112 pages, so you really could finish it in a day or two.
I received the mobi digital version of the book. I know there is a way to use Amazon Kindle to read it but for some reason, I was having trouble with that. So, I went online and found a site that was able to convert it to a pdf that I could download and read on my laptop. I also put it on my one drive so I could read it on my phone too if I wanted to do so.
I was originally going to use this as a read aloud with one or all of my kids, but our schedule has been kind of crazy lately, plus we’ve had a few illnesses so I just read it on my own.
There is a free Teacher’s guide that you can download from the publisher’s website, though, if you want to read this with your children as a more educational piece of work. The guide is 12 pages, but the first half of it is an interview with the author if you want to get to know her a little more. Her interview includes answering questions about the main character which are kind of fun to read.
The “meat” of the teacher’s guide begins on page 6 where she first gives you some suggestions on “Researching the Setting”. Next, it gives you activities/questions directly related to The Heart Changer. There are also some Syrian recipes. I haven’t tried them yet, but I love cooking new things so I would like to try them out. I think that is a fun addition to the teacher’s guide.
The Heart Changer
This book is a historical Biblical fiction novel geared towards students in middle school and up. It is definitely good for adults too, though.
In the book, we follow a young refugee, Miriam, as she goes through a rollercoaster of emotions in the midst of being a captive in Syria. We feel her pain and anguish from the first page of the book when she is hiding from the soldiers and subsequently found and taken from her village and her family.
The story is told from Miriam’s perspective. She is a 12-year-old girl and is wondering if God has forgotten about her or maybe he is punishing her for something. Otherwise, why would He allow her to go through such a terrible experience?
Just like in our own lives Miriam learns that sometimes our hardships help prepare us for big things. Important things. Things that matter! We can’t see it at the time, but it is a great lesson to be reminded of often.
While held captive, Miriam has to serve the wife of Naaman, the commander of the army of the king of Aram (the Syrian army).
When reading the story, you really get a good feel for Miriam’s emotions and what she is seeing. The author uses wonderfully descriptive words and really does well at putting you IN the story.
I enjoyed the book. Once school starts up again after the summer break, I will read it again as a read aloud with my youngest. We will also go through the questions in the teacher’s guide.
It’s definitely worth the read. Depending on how much you have talked to your children about kidnapping, refugees, being held captive, ect., you may want to read it with them so that you have the opportunity to talk with them about those topics as they come up.
I would also recommend you click the banner below to read other TOS crew member reviews.