Greetings and salutations! I’m super excited for today’s blog post, as I’m going to be reviewing a very hot off the press book for y’all! Like so hot off the press it literally came out yesterday… 😀 (For those wondering, I’ll share my last NaPoWriMo post next week). So let’s get onto the review…!
First, some stats….
Number of Pages: 112
Published in: April, 2019
Genre: Middle Grade Historical Fiction
Back Cover Blurb:
Can an Israelite captive, wrenched from all she loves, serve the very man who destroyed her village?
Miriam is asked to do the impossible: serve the wife of Naaman, commander of the Syrian army. Clinging to treasured memories of home and faith, Miriam faces captivity with worry and bitterness. Little does she know the Heart Changer is wooing and preparing her for a greater mission—far beyond what she could imagine.
This middle-grade historical novel reflects the heartache and angst of a young refugee in a foreign land where all hope seems lost.
So, what did I think of The Heart Changer……..
I really liked it!
Now obviously I’m not a middle grade reader, but I still do have a fondness for middle grade books (as shown here :D). Throw in the fact that I’m a huge historical fiction fan, plus the fact that I also really enjoy Biblical fiction- and bam! You potentially have a winning book on your hands! And this was one such book…
Mrs Del Boccio’s writing style is very accessible, but also vivid and just well put together. It is obvious that she has put a lot of time and effort in to researching the history and culture behind this story. As a huge lover of history, I really appreciate this, as it’s always rewarding to read books that actually feel (and are!) historically accurate! 😀 The setting of the story was very vivid, and as the reader, I could really picture the busy Syrian cities and harsh lands that Miriam travelled through. The different settings that she found herself in throughout the story were well written and it was easy to step into her story and see things through her eyes.
I also really appreciated how Mrs Del Boccio tackled the story… Obviously this is based on an actual Biblical account, and there are certain facts you have to deal with. It’s not exactly an easy story to retell for MG readers… I mean a girl is captured and exiled from her home, alone, not knowing if any of her family is alive, then forced to serve a pagan family, the father of which then deals with a horrible skin disease… There is a lot of potential red flags in the story, but Mrs Del Boccio deals with them in a gracious and thoughtful manner. I thought that the story content was extremely well done for a MG audience – real enough for them to feel the reality of the pain and suffering, but at the same time not too overwhelming for their age. I also thought that the whole theme of a refugees is a very appropriate one in this day and age where refugees are such a hot topic… I really found it interesting to look at this topic through this Biblical story in a new light.
I also found all the underlying themes woven throughout the story very encouraging… There is a lot of talk about bitterness, anger and sorrow, and how it can affect your heart. In Miriam’s case, she went through a long process to deal with all the emotions that were brought up through her capture… It is emphasized that in the end the only thing that can make the true change in someone’s heart is God. He is the ultimate and only true Heart Changer, and his work is very needed in everyone’s heart. I really appreciated the gentle, but persistent way that Mrs Del Boccio underlined this fact. I think that MG readers can really benefit from learning these important truths through this story… That’s one of the reasons I love fiction so much! You can learn so many integral life lessons through the medium of story… After all, story is so very powerful…
All in all, I really enjoyed this book! It’s a meaningful story for all ages, with a style that I think will appeal very well to MG readers. So if you know any people that would appreciate a MG historical fiction book – point them to The Heart Changer! And make sure to order your copy soon. 😉 You can find it on Amazon here.
Make sure to check out The Heart Changer book trailer here.
And if you want to learn more about the book in general and Mrs Del Boccio’s other writings definitely check out her website.
So that wraps up today’s blog post! I hope you enjoyed the review! 🙂
Let’s chat in the comments! Have you ever come across any MG Biblical/Historical fiction before? Are you planning to read The Heart Changer?