This is the fourth book of the Imagine... series and this time author Matthew Koceich focuses on the classic Bible story of the battle between shepherd boy David and a nine-foot giant named Goliath. Wren Evans is a fourth-grade student from Mulvane, Kansas and she feels overwhelmed dealing with her mother's death, the feelings that she and her father are growing apart and then, getting off the school bus to find her house on fire. As Wren runs away from her overwhelming feelings of loss she finds herself transported to the time leading up to the famous battle mentioned in 1 Samuel 17: 33-51. Suddenly Wren is witness to all of the excitement surrounding this event and she is rescued more than once by an angel named Josephine during some of the action and danger that occurred in Israel in 1020 BC.
I must admit that The Giant's Fall is not my favorite of these four books and I believe most of it relates to the fact that David and the battle aren't featured more. David meets Wren and there is a little interaction but I would have liked for him to have given her more advice and encouragement. I do, however, appreciate that this book often mentions Matthew 19:26. "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible". Wren is obviously familiar with God's Word because she already knows the outcome of David's battle with Goliath and this makes her a good role model for young readers.
Matt Koceich has an excellent understanding of his reading audience and he is able to creatively mix fantasy and popular culture with actual events from the Bible. His use of easy to understand text and the short length of this book both make The Giant's Fall an enjoyable book for readers age 8-12; it is also refreshing that he uses both boys and girls as his main characters because young girls enjoy adventures also!
This book has mystery, action, and adventure and it also touches on some of the emotions that today's youth often experience. Wren's feelings of hopelessness are often felt by young people and her acceptance and belief that God can do anything is a message that they need to hear!
I hope that Koceich will continue to write more books for this series and I recommend The Giant's Fall to adults who are searching for good reading material for the children in their lives.
I received a complimentary copy from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to write a review.