Gospel TimeTrekkers #3: Danger at Sea
Illustrator: Paul Cunningham
Published: August 2013
In this third volume of the Gospel Time Trekkers series, children ages 6-9 are taken on a journey that imaginatively retraces Jesus welcoming the child Rebecca into a gathering with his disciples through the experiences of three modern siblings: Hannah, Caleb, and Noah. When Caleb offers to help out with the fishing for Rebecca's family, little does he know the danger that lies ahead with only a torch lighting the way, fish wildly flapping, and…

“We should not be fighting about who is best. We should be showing who is best by putting others first.”

– Maria Grace Dateno

Blurb: It’s another uneventful summer day when Caleb, Hannah, and Noah find themselves unexpectedly transported to a fishing village near the Sea of Galilee – thousands of years ago! Aboard their friends’ boat, Caleb is eager to show off his fishing skills. But when things go terribly wrong, the siblings learn what makes each of us truly important.

Gospel TimeTrekkers is an exciting adventure series created by Sister Maria Grace for children aged 6 to 9 years old. In this third volume, Danger at Sea, we see Caleb and his siblings facing danger on the rough sea of Galilee. The kids are relieved to escape from chores in the garden at home for a while and Caleb is desperate to prove to his host family how tough he can be on the fishing boats at night. Through a series of events, Caleb learns that bragging sets you up for a fall and that working together as a team is crucial to success.

This book strikes a good balance between fun and adventure to entice and entertain kids, and a solid moral at the end to make them think. These siblings are on a quest to meet Jesus, but they make wonderful friends and learn a lot of lessons along the way, like the fact that it’s more important to work hard and honour other people than brag about your own strengths or accomplishments.

As she illustrates the message “the first shall be last”, Dateno sets the stage with vivid descriptions and lively characters with whom children can surely relate. The narrator, Caleb, is not perfect and through relating to some of his shortcomings, readers will likewise be able to share in his growth.

The novel features simple but expressive black and white illustrations and Paul Cunningham has captured the essence of the story: the straightforward emotion of childhood with adventure as a catalyst for growth and learning.

This book is suitable for individuals, families, parish Sunday schools and Catholic schools. Whether it’s a class set to study for English or a single copy for your home library, the best part about Gospel TimeTrekkers is that you won’t be able to resist coming back for the other books in the series.

Reviewed by: Lil van Wyngaard – Veritatis Publishing

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