Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Meeting Moses by Robert Chasin and Matt Roussel Found to be Misleading...

Meet Max and his father, Professor Harold Praze. Professor Praze has invented a time-traveling machine.

"Wow!" says Max. "Can I go back in time?"
"Sorry, Max. I need to do more testing with Lazlo first."
On Max's birthday, his father has a big surprise.
"Who wants to take a test ride around the backyard?"
Max jumps up in the air "Me, me, me!"
His mother Lynn says, "Hop in, Max.
Just remember this is not for you to go time traveling. If you want to go somewhere, how about your grandparents house?"
"But Mom, we could go back in time and meet the real Moses. That's way better than watching him on TV tonight...


I had an immediate reaction to this book that I couldn't change. So I took it to our Easter family get-together and spent time talking about it... Only one out of six did not totally agree. You see, the book looks like a great book, with a beautiful cover and excellent inside visuals. And the story is good, except...

First, the book is titled, "Meeting Moses." In fact, it is the debut in the Meeting Bible Heroes Series. The front cover also says, Have fun learning about the Old Testament.

All of that meant, for me, that Moses would be the main character and we would learn about his life...

Instead, we find that Max, a young boy living today, really is the main character, who uses his father's time-machine invention, to travel back in time.

We arrive on page 8 and only then meet Moses who is a boy about the same age as Max at that time. The Princess of Egypt he first meets along with two boys, assumes he is a flying 

While Max claims to be just a boy from far away, even the Pharaoh asks Max what the gods want... 

At that point, Max proceeds to use not only electronic gadgets that are available today, but also futuristic tools, such as the time machine, to share and show Moses, including that he is Jewish, and what he will do in the future... You know, just like a child would say to his friend, I've already seen the movies, I'll tell you all about it!

I could only have one interpretation. One could assume that Max is indeed God or an angel; and he is telling Moses what his life requirements will be... Now we all know that this is not true, but...will children understand this? I doubt it.

The individual who I talked to Easter weekend pointed out that Max turned some magical button at the end and that all that had happened would disappear, not be remembered, thus the book came out alright. Given the long memory children have for books/movies like Frozen, Beauty and the Beast, etc., I find this, really, an unacceptable assumption. That is, the children, who read the book, will remember that Max was the one who told Moses everything Moses would be doing in the future!

In fact, Moses played what you would call a minor character. He was not presented to the readers as a Bible Hero. He was presented as a little boy that had his future foretold by a boy who flew in on a time machine... And, when you finish the book, again with Max and his family, you will have learned little about Moses as a hero, except through Max's words.

I was not only disappointed; I felt the book cover--title--series title--and the statement about learning about the Old Testament, was totally misleading.  I would not have accepted the book for review had I known that Moses would not be the "hero" of the book. I don't normally add this, but I fully expected to learn the story from the beginning of Moses being found in the water, and moving forth... There could have been someone, perhaps his mother, who told about why she had to give him up, and then through his early years, until Moses was able to tell his own story... My best comparison for expectation was the series from Carole Roman, who has taken thousands if not millions of children around the world, in either present or historical times, during which we learn as a visitor to the time/place, not as the main character of the book.

I will not recommend this book to those who wish to have your children learn about Moses... If you want a cute story with nice pictures, without too much concern about Meeting Moses and learning about his heroic life in the Old Testament, then go ahead...read other reviews... and check it out...


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