Xristos Anesti! Christ is Risen!
One of the most difficult thing as a parent to a tween boy that loves to read is finding books that are on his reading level yet still has appropriate content. I feel like we’ve gone through most of the good series that are out there and we recently began dipping our toes into other book series.
Like the Percy Jackson series, for example. There were a few romantic references I wasn’t too thrilled about but luckily they went right over Ace’s head as he raced through them to get to the good parts, like the poisonous swords and magic horses.
However, after he finished The House of Hades, the fourth book in The Heroes of Olympus series, I was… appalled? shocked? disappointed? All three really. I found out that one of Ace’s favorite characters Nico Di Angelo comes out of the closet at the end of the story. Luckily, this also slipped right past Ace. Due entirely, I believe, to the fact that we got a blessing from our spiritual father before he began reading the series. Now, I’m not getting into the g a y debate in this post, but I am going to say how ridiculously inappropriate that is in a MG/YA novel. I’m definitely not one to encourage the banning of books, regardless of content, I believe it’s a person’s freedom of speech to write whatever he/she wishes but if publisher’s are going to make it a habit to publish this sort of garbage in books other people’s children are reading, they need to have a LGBT category (they have one for everything else) for them. Parents need to know beforehand if a book contains this type of inappropriate content, and it IS inappropriate. Because we, parents, also have the right to decide when/where/how we will introduce and discuss these types of issues with our children.
Anyway, after that incident I have been EXTREMELY careful what he reads. When he was younger, I would read the books before he did. Easy peasy. As he got older, I skimmed them. Still not too difficult. But now that he is reading books with word counts over 100,000 I usually just read the jacketflap and flip through it to see if anything jumps out at me.
Which brings me to today’s post. The FANTASTIC new book out by Fr. Matthew Penney (sister of Mat. Constantina Palmer, author of The Scent of Holiness and the blog Lessons from a Monastery).
Voyage to the Rock is a terrific new book out for Orthodox young people. It is full of adventures and mysteries and danger-everything young boys (and girls) love! I was sort of nervous to give it to Ace at first because he is really, really picky about what he reads. Unfortunately, he judges his books by their covers and if it looks at all preachy or boring, he exes it before even hearing what it’s about.
So, first I played the trailer for him and Lucky, reading the captions in my most adventurous voice. It must’ve worked because he shrugged his shoulders and said, “That sounds pretty good.” Then he shoved his nose back between the current book he was reading in the backseat. Now, any moms of tween-aged boys knows that’s a major win!
A few days later, he asked if the book came in yet. Finally, when it did, he grabbed it off the counter and took off in search of a quiet spot to read. He was on the porch reading for over an hour that first night! Yay!!
What’s even cooler is that he took the book to school to read during quiet time and told me a few of his friends asked what it was about and one asked to borrow it when he was finished! What an awesome way for young people to share their faith quietly and naturally.
I hope to come back and post some of Ace’s thoughts on the book, but I can tell you know it is already officially kid-tested and approved!
Official Description of Voyage to the Rock:
“To be like St. Herman of Alaska!” These words – only a family joke once, were now turning Martin’s world upside down. Catapulted from his ideal teenage existence in Boston to Newfoundland, Canada – a place affectionately called “The Rock” by its inhabitants, he doesn’t want anything to do with his father’s missionary dreams. Accompanied by his parents and his all-too-perky younger sister, a dismal summer of hard work and early mornings is all that awaits Martin. Or so he thinks…
But all that changes the day he finds a bronze cross at the site of the historic Viking settlement, L’Anse aux Meadows. A whole new world opens to Martin then, one of trans-Atlantic voyages, unanswered clues, suspicious antique-dealers, narrow escapes, mysterious deaths, and at the center of it all is an ancient cross and a manuscript poem.
A burning question begins his search: Is the cross Viking, or could it be from the fabled voyage of St. Brendan the Navigator?
Now with the help of his sister, Brigid, and a local Newfoundland boy, Ashley, the three of them race to unlock the mystery of an ancient Christian treasure. But with the Old Wolf, Sullivan O’Connell hunting them, it isn’t just about treasure anymore… It’s about survival.
Mat. Constantina also posted an interview with the author and Ace was pleased to hear that Voyage to the Rock will become a three book series! Woo-hoo!
A huge thank you to Fr. Matthew and Lumination Press for filling this ginormous gap in Orthodox literature and tending to the needs of the most impressionable members of our Faith! We are already anxiously awaiting for your next release!
Voyage to the Rock is available here through Lumination Press.
To enter to win your copy simply:
1. Leave your name (with a VALID email address) in the comment section.
2. Tell me what you wish there was more of in Orthodox children’s literature.
3. Why you’re excited about this book!
For extra entries:
1. Tweet, Facebook, Instagram or Blog about this giveaway. Be sure to leave a link to your post!
Winner will be announced on Wednesday!
*WINNER IS MARIA! Congrats!! Email your shipping info to Sylvia@OrthodoxMom.com and I’ll ship out your copy of Voyage to the Rock!