Saturday, September 21, 2013

Truth Seekers: The Machine by Bill Myers

What a fun novel for kids ages 10-14. It has lots of amazing machines, like a 0.3 mm robot. It has lots of interesting scientific facts. Did you know that people lose some 30,000 to 40,000 skin cells a minute and those cells are what bloodhounds smell when they track people? And it has lots of kid humor (groan). It has spiritual elements too. Demons make their shady appearance from time to time. It's only detraction is that the kids do some deeds I question (see below).

The story involves Jake and Jennifer, the seventh grade twin kids of Dr. Mackenzie, a brilliant and quirky scientist who sometimes forgets he even has kids. Jen and Jake have lived most of their lives with their mother and an absent father. He was always off working on some amazing scientific endeavor. But their mother unexpectedly died recently and the kids are with their dad in the Holy Land. He has invented The Machine, a device that creates such super-realistic holographs of Bible times you think you are there. But there is someone trying to sabotage Mackenzie's work and the kids are right in the middle of the trouble.

There are some character lessons the twins learn in this story. They try hard to love a father they hardly know. Jen has to get over her fear of the demons and learn to take authority over them. Their father has to learn what it means to be one. And some of those working with the Dr. are Arabs and Israelis – they have to learn to get along.

I do not like that the twins participate in some illegal stuff, like breaking into a jail (busting down a door) and swiping a woman's wig. Granted, it is for a worthy cause, it seems (to get their father's machine running, or funded). But there is no remorse shown for those deeds, and that bothers me.

Except for the twins doing some illegal stuff, this is a pretty good book for kids. It is a great adventure and there are some Christian principles to learn too. There are a couple of pages at the end helping parents use this book, the lesson on trusting God. I would have been happier to see some questions about evaluating the actions of the twins. There should be a lesson there too.

Bill Myers is an award-winning writer/director whose work has won over sixty national and international awards. He has written several best-selling series for kids. He has sold over eight million books and videos. Bill and his wife, two cats and two kids, live near Hollywood, California. Find out more at www.billmyers.com.

B&H Kids, 230 pages.

I received a complimentary copy of this book through B&B Media for the purpose of this review.
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