The Secret of the Hidden Scrolls by WorthyKids/Ideals is an exciting series of books for young readers. The Beginning (Book #1) and Race to the Ark (Book #2) by M. J. Thomas blend time travel and Bible events in two easy-to-read, adventure tales.
Book One: The Beginning
The first chapter of Book One: The Beginning gave me an immediate Chornicles of Narnia feel. Two children are forced to stay with their eccentric uncle, whose giant home is filled with interesting objects: a world map covered in red pins, a suit of armor, an ancient mask— and many more exciting things behind a library door that looks like it came from a castle. Their uncle is an archaeologist. But not just any archaeologist…his life’s mission has always been to prove the Bible to be true.
So after supper the first night, he begins to tell the children about one discovery that he’s never told anyone…The Legend of the Hidden Scrolls. He accidentally found them in a cave in a desert beside the Dead Sea. After reading the legend to the children…
“The scrolls contain the truth you see. Break the seal. Unroll the scroll. And you will see the past unfold. Amazing adventures are in store. For those who follow the lion’s roar.”
…he explains that it means ‘whoever opens the scrolls will travel back in time to the events of the Bible.’
“Who is the lion?” asks Mary. “You will have to figure that out on your own,” said Great-Uncle Solomon.
And so begin the time-traveling adventures of two children. Because that first night, Peter and Mary discover the scrolls in a secret room!
In Book One: The Beginning, Mary and Peter find themselves whisked back to the beginning of the world, and realize they are witnessing God’s creation as it happens. They meet the archangel Michael, whose job it is to protect them from the fallen angel, Satan. Michael also informs the children of the rules of their mission: they must solve the secret of the scrolls in 7 days or they will be stuck in this time, they must not tell anyone who they are or where they came from, and they must not try to change the future.
Peter and Mary watch as God creates each portion of the world in seven days. It’s a fun description of life before and during Creation through the eyes of the two children. They are there when God creates the light, when He separates the water from the land, when the sun, moon and stars are created, when the trees and plants appear, when birds fly in the sky and fish swim in the water, and when the animals are created on the sixth day. They even encounter the evil snake in the garden.
Finally, they witness the creation of Adam, the naming of the animals, and the creation of Eve. And just in time, they solved the secret of the hidden scroll!
Book Two: Race to the Ark
The time-travel adventure continues in Race to the Ark! This time, Peter and Mary know what to do when they hear the lion’s roar, and they are transported back to the time of Noah. The rules are the same, and there are three more clues to solve. They must hurry! Again, there are only seven days in which to solve the secret of the hidden scrolls, but with the help of the angel Michael, the kids assist Noah in gathering the animals for the ark, avoid the Dark One, and prepare to set sail on the ark!
This is an easy-to-read chapter book series, perfect for the student who is reading on his own, but also lots of fun for read-alouds as a family. I read this to my kids, and found that it moved very quickly (both the reading pace and the story). My kids have enjoyed other book series’ in the past that have similar themes, but never with time travel back to the events of the Bible. This aspect blended the best of both worlds for us!
Each book has a theme (God created everything and Trust God: He will rescue you). At the end of each book is the list of scriptures referenced in the story.
Bottom line: If I could find more series like this one for my kids I would be overjoyed! It’s not cheesy, it’s well-written, and it brings Biblical events alive in a way that kids (and parents) will love!
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