Summary from Goodreads.com
“The last thing fourth-grader Kai Waters remembers (before the world as she knew it disappeared) is being surrounded by bullies on her walk home from school. What happens next can’t be explained as Kai finds herself on the run for her life in ancient Egypt! Imagine. . .The Ten Plagues is the second release in an exciting, brand-new epic adventure series for kids ages 8 to 12 written by schoolteacher Matt Koceich. The Imagine series brings the Bible to life for today’s kids as they ponder what it would be like to live through a monumental biblical event.”
My What I Liked About the Book
The book had a lot of action, and my 9-year-old daughter was hooked. She begged me to read “one more chapter” every night until we finished. The beginning of the book finds Kai, a fourth-grade girl, in a sticky situation with a bully. The bully, Vivian, is about to beat her up for no apparent reason other than she doesn’t like her (as bullies often do). Right when the bully is about throw the first punch, Kai is transported to ancient Egypt during the time of Moses. As she watches the plagues happen from afar, she helps a Hebrew girl, Lily, escape from an Egyptian guard (her bully) who is trying to capture her. The entire book is a chase scene with the guard, so it was pretty exciting for my daughter. Not many middle grade fiction books have that much action, and she lapped it up.
What I Didn’t Like About the Book
I was hoping this book was going to feel more like a historical fiction and show kids what it would have been like to live through the ten plagues. Instead, the plagues seemed like more of a footnote to the chase going on with the guard. Kai watched them from afar, and not much discussion was given to how it felt to live through them. I wish the author would have discussed that aspect more– how did the people react to each plague? How did it change their everyday life to live through them? How did they feel when the water turned to blood? How did they feel when locusts invaded the land? Instead of really discussing this, it felt like the author used the plagues like “road blocks” thrown at the characters during the chase to slow them down, not a real historical event that people lived through.
Would I recommend this book?
If you are looking for a middle grade fiction book that is exciting and entertaining, this is the book for you. If you are looking for a book that makes the Bible come alive for children, I think it falls short. I would be interested to check out other books in the series to see if the Biblical accounts are more vivid. Overall, I would rate “Imagine…The Ten Plagues” 3 out of 5 stars.
Thank you to the author, Matt Koceich, the publisher, and NetGalley for allowing me to read this book in advance in exchange for my honest review.