When I began reading this book, I was a bit nervous. It is a Christian Middle Grade book, but it is centered around a music competition like America’s Got Talent. But as the story unfolded I began to see this in a whole new light and I actually began to appreciate what author Shaylene King did with the biblical story of Esther in the eyes of our contemporary heroine, Liberty.
It honestly also brought back some of the Lizzie McGuire days, don’t judge me. I saw her brother and sidekick, Justice, as the cartoon version of Lizzie… if you know, you know. The more I got into the book the more I saw the elements that make up stories like Lizzy Mcguire and a lot of our contemporary middle grade books. As a more conservative mom, I was a bit hesitant as to where this book would go, but outside of one detail, that I will get too in a minute, I honestly did not see anything objectionable and would easily allow this to be a fun read for my girls to have.
It is an Esther retelling and the characters worked so well at creating a unique setting as well as more well-known characters with a twist (think Haman, Mordechai, and the King). I think if your child is knowledgeable in biblical characters it will enrich the story even more to see how the Bible and its words are TIMELESS. That if it about God and not about us, He will give us the courage, He will work all things out for His good and glory, and we just need to do what is right in His eyes and not what makes us look good in our own.
There was one section that I cringed and would like to address because this is something I would want to have a conversation about with my daughter. This is a personal thing, but I know my readers that enjoy my reviews would like to know about this. In one section of the book, Mom and Liberty are having a conversation. Liberty is frustrated that she can’t hear what God is wanting her to do. He seems silent. The following conversation happens:
“…I know this silence you are feeling from God is not Him being distant. He is actually holding you very close but needing to be silent for your own good. When He seems invisible, God is usually preparing someone to be invincible. I think that someone is you.”
I really struggled with that. We are fallible human beings. There is noting invincible about us. That is taking glory away from God and placing it on us sinful human beings. I also do not want my daughter to assume that just because she can’t hear God, that it is being she is somehow being worked for something superb above all things. The simple fact remains that we don’t always FEEL God, but that is because of our human nature. God is there regardless, that is HIS promise found in HIS word. Sometimes He is silent because we have not been in the Word where His voice can be found! It was a section to note and make sure that I have a conversation with my readers about, especially since we have had similar conversations and I want consistent truth to be always told.
I enjoyed this book a whole lot more than I expected. I think that there is a desire for more Christian content that fits our current generation of Christian youth and if that is the case, this may be a good fit for you and your family!
Thank you to Celebrate Lit for sending me a free copy in exchange for a full and honest review.
About the Book
Author: Shaylene King
Genre: Middle Grade Fiction
Release date: December 31, 2020
American Idol meets the bible in this modern retelling of the book of Esther creatively re-imagined for a younger generation
Sir Frederick Preparatory School’s Royal Crown competition is only the biggest singing competition on planet earth! So, when Liberty Lane O’Shea, is catapulted into the singing competition to compete for the coveted crown, it’s a dream come true.
Her dreams are dashed when she meets a beastly contestant who plots to vocally “kill off” anyone who might pose a threat to his rise to fame.
To halt the contestant’s vile ruse, Liberty Lane and her cohorts in crime, best friend Calliope and cousin Lincoln scheme to foil his evil ploys.
When Liberty Lane finds herself blackmailed, she is faced with a tough choice. Will she expose this contestant, divulging a secret of her own, and possibly disqualify herself from the competition? Or, will she watch the other contestants “die” an early Royal Crown competition death, putting the crown surely within her grasp?
Click here to get your copy!
About the Author
Shaylene is an anti-bully activist. She speaks to thousands of students each year across the country and internationally, empowering them to live with profound purpose when they learn to combat mean and cultivate kindness.
She is the founder of The Mean Girl Extinction Project a 501(c)3 on-profit created to address the rise in relational aggression among girls. She teaches girls how to not only survive girl world but to make a difference and thrive in girl world. She leads assemblies, workshops and speaks at girls events, camps, clubs and retreats.
Shaylene also teaches and trains the nation’s leading student-led bully prevention program called Safe School Ambassadors. Equipping students with the tools they need to develop self-confidence and practice and promote positive communication with their peers.
Shaylene lives with her husband in Middle Tennessee, sailing the unchartered waters of empty nesting. She enjoys any time she gets to spend with her two grown children who are off exploring the world and living the life God created them for.
More from Shaylene
Liberty Lane and the One-Girl Rebelution was birthed from my love of fairy tales and reading Bible stories to my kids. I have likely read every modern retelling version of classic fairy tales like Cinderella and Snow White and the Seven Dwarves! One night, while reading a Bible story to my kids at bedtime, I noticed it read a lot like a fairy tale, only it was true. What fun it would be to write a modern retelling of my favorite Bible stories! And, rest is history… or at least a re-telling of history!
This book was a labor of love. It was fun to creatively reimagine what an Esther story might look like today. More important, though, I wanted to create a strong, confident young girl, one who was perfectly imperfect, able to think for herself and stand for what she believed in, even when it was hard—a one-girl “rebel”ution. My hope is that girls might connect with Liberty Lane and feel they too can be comfortable in their own skin and stand by their convictions. When they make a mistake, they can right their wrong, hold their head high, and press on. Speaking the truth is never easy to do, but I want them to know, it will always be the right thing to do.
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, August 24
Aryn The Libraryan 📚, August 25
Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, August 25
Texas Book-aholic, August 26
Inklings and notions, August 27
Blogging With Carol, August 27
For Him and My Family, August 28
Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, August 29
Southern Gal Loves to Read, August 29
deb’s Book Review, August 30
Locks, Hooks and Books, August 31
Cats in the Cradle Blog, August 31
A Modern Day Fairy Tale, September 1
Mary Hake, September 2
Library Lady’s Kid Lit, September 3
Bigreadersite, September 4
Vicky Sluiter, September 4
Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, September 5
Sodbusterliving, September 6
To celebrate her tour, Shaylene is giving away the grand prize a $50 Amazon gift card, a signed hard back copy of my book, book bag and 2 BookStubs (Free ebook download) … One BookStub for the winner and one for a friend!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.