Sunday, February 13, 2022

The Serpent Slayer by Champ Thornton and Andrew David Naselli, Illustrated by Dana Thompson

Reading this story made me wish I were a kid again, getting lost in a good novel of adventure. That idea comes to life here. Nomi and Emmet enter into biblical adventures including the Fall, the Exodus, David and Goliath, Jesus teaching, his death and resurrection.

The story starts with action as Emmet and Nomi are pedaling furiously to get away from a bully. Then they find a strange object that leads them into a tome adventure, particularly a scroll adventure. The action slows quite a bit as the kids travel to biblical time. They become observers to action but do not take part in it themselves for the most part. There are good moral lessons included, such as the danger of being attracted to power and wealth, how to oppose the enemy, asking for forgiveness and the substitutionary death of Jesus.

I always like to learn something when I read fiction and this time it was about dodecahedrons. They are twelve sided objects from Roman times. Many have been unearthed in Europe and their use is unknown. Young readers will also be introduced to a shofar.

This is a good novel for readers aged 9-13. It has adventures in biblical times but mostly mere observation. Children familiar with Bible stories may have some impatience with Emmet and Nomi in their lack of recognizing the biblical stories they have fallen into even though they attend church. Potential readers for this adventure would be children not familiar with Old Testament stories. There is a Reader's Guide with a theological summary for kids. The book book could be used in a youth reading group with an adult using the story as a teaching outline for sharing the gospel.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

Champ Thornton, PhD, is an associate pastor at Ogletown Baptist Church in Newark, Delaware. He has pastored in South Carolina and served as director of SOMA, a ministry training school in Columbus, Ohio. He is host of In the Word, On the Go, a ten-minute podcast for families and is the award-winning author of several books, including The Radical Book for Kids, Pass It On, Radically Different, Why Do We Say Good Night?, and The Serpent Slayer and the Scroll of Riddles. Champ and his wife, Robben, have three children. Visit to learn more. He can also be found on Twitter (@champthornton) and Instagram (@thorntonchamp).

Andrew David Naselli, PhD, is associate professor of systematic theology and New Testament for Bethlehem College & Seminary in Minneapolis and one of the pastors of Bethlehem Baptist Church. He is the author of several books, including The Serpent Slayer and the Scroll of Riddles and 40 Questions about Biblical Theology, in addition to contributing to and co-authoring many others. He and his wife, Jenni, have four daughters. Visit to learn more. He can also be found on Twitter (@AndyNaselli).

Dana Thompson enjoys storytelling through the visual mediums of illustration, animation, and graphic design. He has two grown children and lives with his wife in Greenville, South Carolina. He is the illustrator of The Serpent Slayer and the Scroll of Riddles

New Growth Press, 128 pages.

I received access to an advanced digital copy of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.

(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)

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