Shepherd, Potter, Spy - and the Star Namer {Review}

My children love books about historical fiction.  We usually snuggle up on the couch and read them aloud together then the children narrate back to me what we just read and we talk about what stood out for them in the passages  It's a fun way to study books together and we all learn from each other's different perspectives this way.

We recently read aloud a great book called Shepherd, Potter, Spy - and the Star Namer by Peggy Consolver - Author.  It is a creative historical fiction presentation of the story of the Gibeonites and of Moses leading the Israelites out of the desert.  It is based on the stories in the Bible, specifically Joshua 9 and 10.

Shepherd, Potter, Spy--and the Star Namer {Peggy Consolver}

The tale is told from the perspective of Keshub, a Gibeon shepherd boy just "twelve harvests" old.  He deals with same issues that most adolescents today must face such as being overshadowed by his successful older brothers, a taunting village bully, and dreams of doing something more exciting than just spending his days working at his family's pottery business.

Keshub's eyes are opened as he begins learning about the world outside his little village.  He befriends the scared son of the evil king of the Amorites.  He hears about the Hebrews approaching and how they have conquered the cities that fought them.  Gibeonites watch as the Hebrews bring the walls of Jericho down.  What will happen as they approach Gibeon?

Keshub faces everyday challenges but also some scary, life threatening situations.  But in spite of his fears, he consistently responds with compassion for others as well as bravery in difficult circumstances as he moves forward with trusting faith.

Regarding faith, we also see the story from the perspective of the Hebrews and how God helped them through their journeys and battles as He led them towards the Promised Land.

The story takes place in Old Testament times so sometimes the locations, geography, tools, and chores mentioned in the book may seem foreign to the reader.  Fortunately, Peggy Consolver - Author has created a great resource on her website that contains maps and some research links which include texts and videos to help clarify various things mentioned in the book.  We still had to look up a few other things and find a more detailed map but the resources on her website were very helpful.

She also offers a study guide for purchase that you can sample on her website.  The study guide has links to more information as well as thinking questions and map work.  It is a great supplement to the book and really brings the story to life.

Shepherd, Potter, Spy--and the Star Namer Peggy Consolver

You can purchase the book and the study guide at

We enjoyed reading this book together and I would definitely recommend it to others.  It is a long book at 374 pages and I would suggest it for middle school reading level or higher. 

If you would like to read some additional reviews from other members of the Homeschool Review Crew then just click the banner below:

Shepherd, Potter, Spy--and the Star Namer {Peggy Consolver Reviews}

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