Sunday, August 12, 2012

Asher of Bethlehem by Howard Rodney Jones

I have heard the Nativity story many times, including many fictional versions; but I have never read quite a story as Asher of Bethlehem.
Where: Bethlehem
When: During the birth of Jesus
Who: A beggar, his best friend and the birth of a child
What: God's Provision
This 119 page book is a simple read for preteen-teens. This is a fictional account of the birth of Jesus. Using a historical and biblical account of this time period the author gives the reader an account of the nativity through the eyes of one of Bethlehems teen beggars Asher and his friend Medad whos parents own the inn that Joseph and Mary come to. The main theme throughout this book  is "God will Provide".

What I liked: I felt the author did an excellent job in representing the time period in which this event took place. His description of Bethlehem and its people gave me a greater understanding of the possible characters and their roles during one of the world's greatest events. I loved the twist of an outsiders, a beggar in fact, viewpoint on Joseph's, Mary's and Jesus' stay while in Bethlehem. It was great to imagine if there had been such characters at Jesus birth that their lives would have been changed forever and that God would provide for them.

What I didn't like: Personally I believe that the wiseman did not see Jesus in the stable but a year later in fact. I realize to make this particular storyline work the wiseman's presense at the stable were required. They were an integral part to the ending of the story. That being said, overall  it did not affect the story or message at all.

Would I recommend this book? YES 
A great read for teens or adults, this book would be great for personal enjoyment, book reports, supplement to any bible curriculum or christmas study as well as character studies.

Disclosure of Material: I received this book free from the publisher through the book review program, which requires an honest, though not necessarily positive, review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s CFR Title 16, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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