Two children travel back to the dawn of creation and meet the Creator.
Author: M. J. Thomas
Written for Ages: 6-9
Summary: Peter, 9, and his 10-year-old sister, Mary (who was adopted from China), along with their very smart dog, Hank, are sent to stay with Great-Uncle Solomon while their parents travel to Africa. Fearful of spending more days bored than entertained, the children wander through the old house. They are intrigued by a jarful of old scrolls that Solomon says “prove the Bible is true.” During a midnight stroll through the house, the children take a closer look at the scrolls and are suddenly transported to an unknown place. They find themselves floating in darkness when they hear a great voice call out, “LET THERE BE LIGHT.” This continues until the children realize that they are witnessing the creation. They have to discover the secret message of the scroll in order to be transported back to Great-Uncle Solomon’s library.
Scripture Connection: In addition to Genesis 1 and 2, the creation accounts, the beginning of John’s gospel is a third creation narrative with the language of light and darkness. In John 8:12, Jesus says, “I am the Light of the World.” And in Matthew 5:14-16, Jesus instructs believers that we are the light of the world.
Theological Connection: The theological themes are direct. In this book the main theological takeaway is the secret of the scroll, “God created everything.” While the serpent in the garden does make an appearance attempting to take the scroll away from the children, there is no heavy-handedness regarding sin or a particular theology of sin. The book’s main objective is for children to know that God is the Creator.
Justice Connection: Accepting that God created light, land, plants, trees, and all people has a number of implications for the Christian. How does it change how we treat one another? How does it change how we treat the planet? To follow the Creator is to care for all of creation.
Faith Talk (God Talk):
- What was your favorite part of Mary and Peter’s adventure?
- Why do you think the snake tried to keep Mary and Peter from the scroll?
- What was the secret on the scroll? What does it mean to you that God created everything?
- If God created everything, then how should we treat everything God creation?
- If you were Peter or Mary and you traveled back to when God was creating, what would you ask God?
Parenting Connection: The author, Mike “M.J.” Thomas was looking for a book for his nine-year-old son to read that would teach the Bible in a fun way. Unable to find such a book, Thomas wrote his own. The Secret of the Hidden Scrolls will be a series of books where Peter and Mary journey back to Biblical times. It reminds me of C. S. Lewis’ Narnia books, with the older caretaker, the large house, and the mysterious rooms. Where Lewis left much to the imagination, Thomas is straightforward in his approach, which meets the purpose of his book.
Great-Uncle Solomon encourages the children’s curiosity. As parents, our children’s curiosity may cause just a little fear. We tend to like order over chaos, and curiosity reigns over chaos. Yet when we allow curiosity to be free, amazing and innovative things happen.
At the conclusion of the book, a suggested reading is offered. This includes the first three chapters of Genesis, which correspond to what is covered in Book One. This would be a great activity or family devotional time for parents and children to do together. Let your children’s curiosity free in their own retelling of the creation narrative. Along the way, the parents can encourage their young readers to remember how the scene played out in Thomas’ book.
You can purchase at Amazon or check it out at your local library.