Shepherd, Potter, Spy–and the Star Namer by Peggy Consolver – Author is an exciting Biblical historical fiction book that brings history to life!
What is Shepherd, Potter, Spy–and the Star Namer about?
Journey to Gibeon in Canaan during the time of the Hebrew’s conquest of Canaan lead by Joshua.
This is the story of the 12-year-old son of a Gibeonite master potter. Keshub experiences the Hebrew invasion of Canaan firsthand as the Hebrews leave the desert after 40 years of wandering. Will they be friend or foe?
As a shepherd, Keshub showed courage in fighting a bear and killing a lion that attacked his flock. He takes pride in his families’ ability to make the best pottery in the area, yet longs for more adventure beyond the boundaries of his home.
Now he is asked to help protect his family and neighbors by spying on the Hebrew camp as they draw closer to the Jordan River. As the youngest spy, he is sent near to Jericho to watch and report on the Hebrew’s activities in the Jordan Valley.
What will he witness? Will his family and friends survive the invasion? Will the Star Namer protect them? Who is the real enemy: the Hebrews or the evil kings of the Amorites?
The Star Namer is the Creator God that Keshub’s father teaches him and his family about. Keshub wonders if the Hebrews’ God and the Star Namer are the same God. Later, as he lives in the Hebrew camp after the fall of the walls of Jericho, he learns from Joshua about their God and understands that He is the Star Namer and the One True Creator God.
Shepherd, Potter, Spy–and the Star Namer is an exciting adventure that boys especially will love. Sword fights, bear encounters, and cities destroyed with a shout. What could be better? Hang on to your seat as Peggy Consolver draws you deeper into the survival of Keshub and his family.
Historical fiction with a Biblical view
As an historical fiction book, Shepherd, Potter, Spy–and the Star Namer describes the geography, culture, and daily life of a different time and place: ancient Canaan. Learning about ancient cultures and how people lived is an important part of students’ education. It helps them relate to others and broadens their understanding of our rich past.
The author has done her historical and archeological research well. While visiting Canaanite archeological digs with the Associates for Biblical Research, she learned about the land and the people living in the area where Gibeon was located. She held ancient pottery in her hands. These experiences gave her unique insights about the Gibeonites and their neighbors.
What issues are discussed?
Keshub faces bullying, sibling rivalry, and survival in his daily life. His relationship with his brothers, parents, and grandparents is respectful and honoring.
Keshub has a strong work ethic as he does his part to support his family living is a harsh environment.
I was impressed with how the elderly family members were valued and asked to pass on their wisdom. This is something not often seen in books today.
Heads up before reading
Keshub lives in a time where child sacrifice is a common practice for people worshiping false gods. He meets the mother and brother of a child who has been sacrificed to the god Moltech.
Also, the inhabitants of Canaan are killed and their cities are destroyed by the Hebrew army. There are no graphic descriptions; just the facts are described. For example, the Hebrew army killed all the inhabitants of Ai and burned the city to the ground.
The evil and cruelty of the kings and armies of Canaan are shown through their treatment of the common people. Again, no graphic descriptions included. For example, the king of Jericho forces refugees to either join his army or leave the city before dark or they will be killed.
The Shepherd, Potter, Spy–and the Star Namer study guide: Digging Deeper Into HIStory by Peggy Consolver, is a must have!
I purchased the additional study guide that includes comprehension questions and background biblical information and I’m really glad I did! It is packed with activities such as rope braiding and mapping skills. The comprehension and discussion questions use higher order thinking skills like comparing and evaluating.
The study guide sends students and teachers to the Bible for the nonfiction account. It also provides websites for videos and archeological information and historical maps.
What a wonderful resource!
My recommendation for Shepherd, Potter, Spy–and the Star Namer
I would recommend this book because it makes ancient history come alive as you “live” with Keshub and his family. It gives students and parents a better understanding of what life was like.
This is an insightful book that expertly blends fiction and the Biblical account of history. It is a must read for middle school and high school boys!
Where can you find this resource from Peggy Consolver?
You can find more information about Peggy Consolver by visiting her website and following her on Facebook:
I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations.