I've always loved stories based on Biblical characters and The Heart Changer is the expanded story of the Hebrew slave girl found in the book of Second Kings in the Bible. The story is written specifically for the Middle School ages (but don't be surprised if you find yourself being drawn into the story).
Jarm Del Boccio, a former teacher and librarian (yay!). She's also a teacher with the SchoolhouseTeachers.com site and this is her debut book.
We received a digital copy of this book as part of the Homeschool Review Crew.
About the Book
So if you haven't read the biblical account in 2 Kings Chapter 5 I recommend you do that first before reading The Heart Changer.
In The Heart Changer the Hebrew girl is the captured slave of the Syrian commander Naaman. He brings her as a maid to his wife.
In the Bible this young woman is unnamed but here in The Heart Changer she is given the name Miriam and said to be 12 years old.
The story opens up in the full drama of Miriam being ripped from all she knows by soldiers and dumped into the life of a servant girl.
As readers we are brought deeper into her plight and the suffering of what she must have been feeling at this time.
Can you just imagine?!
Mariam not only has to deal with being a captive and torn from her loving family but also being in the midst of people who do not worship her God. Her heart is broken and she is in constant prayer for help in this great time of need.
The Heart Changer is the story about God changing the heart of Miriam.
Just imagine how you would feel in such a predicament. Could you find it within yourself to help those who had torn you away from all you know? Only with God's help could you do such a thing and that is what The Heart Changer is about.
Jarm Del Boccio has fictionalized the story to expand on what might life might have been like for a young girl in such a situation.
a Middle Schooler's Thoughts on the Heart Changer
I gave this book to my daughter to read. She is always searching for something to read so I love when I can hand her something new with a mommy grin on my face and say, “enjoy”.
Spoiler Alert: Her favorite part is when Miriam finds her family and realizes they are safe.
There is a teacher's guide to go along with The Heart Changer available on the website.
(You need to scroll down and find the image similar to the one above and click on it to access the Teacher's Guide.)
It is twelve pages and includes a few Syrian recipes to try out.
There is a section to get to know the character Miriam more. Ideas to research the names of the characters. This lets you know that Jarm Del Boccio put a lot of thought into how her characters were named.
And also a section to research leprosy. What it is and how it was treated, seen, and affected the people with it.
There are even a few Syrians recipe try and links to more recipes!
For a debut novel this was well written and interesting. I myself enjoyed reading it as much as my daughter. I hope Jarm Del Boccio writes more books such as these.
Connect with Jarm Del Boccio on Social Media
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Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.