There be Giants!

Clark Burbridge wrote a youth/young adult novel entitled, Giants in the Land. I was privileged to get to read it and review it.

The trouble there is, I thought the book was …well to be nice, a bit on the strange side. I wasn’t sure children/young adults would like the book. And I just didn’t “get” it.  I think it is an allegory but I’m not positive and if it is I’m not sure what it is supposed to be teaching us. The book is “spiritual” in that God is mentioned repeatedly but so is a form of humanism.

In the book the helpful giants leave Thomas’ village suddenly. Thomas volunteers to find the giants and ask why they left and when they are returning. The town is in a uproar. Thomas’ wife, Rachel and two-year old daughter, Hope, promise to leave wildflowers every day for him.

Thomas does find the giants and is only told he is The One. He is the giant for his village and he must return and help them.

Because I’m no longer a child, I had my children read the book. Here is what they had to say:

From my 12 year old:

Overall, I thought it was a good book about a man who is sent on a journey to find his village’s hardworking friends, the giants. But Thomas learns a new meaning of the word “giant” by the time he returns. Over and over, he is resuced by an unseen ally in the forest, in the lake…and yet the giants have eluded him it seems.

But at the end of his journey, he encounters answers–in the form of riddles. Thomas feels that he has failed. But can the giants show him what a true giant is?

One of my favorite parts in the book was the repeated line, ” A giant is not measured by the greatness of his strength, but by the greatness of his heart.”

As a twelve year old, I found no fault in the book, only that on his journey, a giant friend seems to protect him, rather than God. Other than that I recommend this book.

I believe that there are some great morals to the story: we tend to learn to rely on giants in our lives, yet someday we must learn to walk on our own, we can always return to our family, and to follow the Lord’s  leading. But for some children, I think, it may be a tad confusing with so many morals.

But it’s still a good–or should I say–great book!

And from my nine year old.

I thought this book was different. It wasn’t exactly an “easy-read”, it was one of the more difficult books to read, and left a couple gaps. I liked the part where he was at ForestMaster’s house, and then when he finally came home again. Those were cool!

 

(I received a free copy of this ebook from LitFuse for the purpose of review.)

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2 thoughts on “There be Giants!

  1. Thank you so much for your thoughtful review. I also loved the comments of your children. As the author I appreciate honest, heartfelt feedback and wanted to suggest one idea that perhaps may not have occured to you prior to writing the blog. God is certainly aware of and interested in the lives of each one of us because of His great love for us. Sometimes as we find in scripture he intervenes directly in our lives but more often as we also learn from the holy word, He blesses our lives through others whom he places in our path (and of course we may be God’s answer to someone elses heartfelt prayer). This is the promise the Giants made to God himself. To serve Him by serving others. That is as the book relates the secret to developing the heart of a giant It is based upon those we have served and loved more than self. Paul calls this charity which never faileth and is the greatest of all.

    Thank you again for stepping up to bat. I am including the reviews of young people on my website http://www.giantsinthelandbook.com using only their age, first name and last initial. May I include your children’s reviews? I certainly understand if you decline. You may respond at my email on the referenced website or below.

    God Bless your family.

    Clark Burbidge

  2. Having said that, however, there are a handful of things that I’ve made a mental note of as fun activities I’d like to try or places that I’d love to go someday along my life journey. One of those activities I’ve wanted to try for a while – although not crazy-adventurous to most – is stand-up paddle boarding (known as SUP in short, or Hoe he’e nalu in Hawaiian). You know, the stand-up, surfboard-looking exercise where you balance yourself on a 10-12 foot-long board all while steering around with a very long paddle in hand. Doesn’t sound too far out-of-reach for a goal, right?

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