The Big Pig Stampede

Saturday, October 10, 2015
“He got the word that Jesus was leaving Capernaum. He saw all the people who were leaving with him. And he decided to put his Jesus Financial Strategy into operation.”
“So that’s what he’s calling it now?” I asked.
Bug laughed. “Yeah, it gets fancier the more he thinks about it. He’s absolutely convinced if we set up shop wherever Jesus goes, it will make him a rich man.”

Book: The Big Pig Stampede (Goat Boy Chronicles) written by Bob Hartman and illustrated by Amerigo Pinelli, Tyndale House Publishers, 2015

Genre: Adventure, Historical Fiction
Target Audience: Boys 9-13
Subjects: Loss of loved ones, Miracles, Friendship, Biblical History, Sibling Relationships
Summary: It’s a great plan for the two businessmen! Just follow this new rabbi around and sell to all the crowds that follow him. At least it’s usually a great plan. It didn’t work so good that day the rabbi miraculously turned their 1 basket of food into enough food to feed the whole crowd… for free. It worked great the time the second time the crowd tried to get him to do it though. Gideon and Bug’s fathers made plenty of money that day! Gideon and Bug are fascinated to be so close to the action. They got to see the dead boy raised to life. They got to help chop up the roof when Bug’s cousin wanted to get his friend into the house. They got to see Rock Girl right after Jesus brought her back to life. They got to watch the pigs stampede into the lake – not quite as much fun as the trip across the lake where Gideon’s brother got seasick, but entertaining nonetheless. Bug’s cousin, Lump, keeps running off and listening to the teachings of Jesus and the things he claims this rabbi says are certainly intriguing!
Notes: The Big Pig Stampede is the first in the Goat Boy Chronicles, a series about a young boy whose family follows Jesus around, giving him chances to witness the miracles and teachings. In this first book, “Goat Boy”, Gideon, is introduced. He has lost his mother to death, despite plenty of prayers by his family, so his family does not believe in miracles. It greatly upsets his father to hear and see the things Jesus did. Why is He healing and raising to life others, but not Gideon’s mom? The story does not end with answers, just with the conclusion that to get answers, they’ll have to keep following. The story starts at the wedding in Cana and goes to Jesus walking on the water. Lump, Bug’s cousin is viewed as “weird”, almost like someone we would today assume to have a small touch of mental illness or disorder that makes him unable to connect socially in the same way the majority of people do. Lump is used to show the teachings of Jesus and how to apply them. He quotes things he has heard from Jesus to Bug and Gideon’s family when things happen.
Of note, the author applies a hint of the Geronimo Stilton strategy – he illustrates some of the text, making it much more appealing for younger or disinterested readers! At one point he puts the words into a maze. He puts speech bubbles on most pages. There are simple actual drawings on a lot of pages. The story also moves fast and contains highly entertaining chapter titles. Everything about it is designed to make reluctant readers pick it up and give it a chance.
I highly recommend this book!
Spiritual Content Recommendation Scale: 5/5
Reviewer: J:-)mi

John 21:25 - Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.


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