Before I give you the wrong impression, let me say unequivocally that I like this book. With an excellent cover, beautiful illustrations, good formatting, solid editing, and well written, it’s a fun tale. It’s certainly appropriate for readers ages 10-13, though I enjoyed it at 70+.
Tom & Kate’s Extraordinary Adventures
The story focuses on Tom and the severe problems he has moving on with life. He’s mired in the past. Then He meets Kate. Nope, no romance, this is a mid-school book: friendship. But they are dropped into an adventure that is almost beyond belief. It’s compelling, funny, interesting, thought-provoking, and all those things you’d hope a book would be. Oh, and they fall to the center of the earth, and there’s a whole new culture down in there.
There’s talk of paleontology. There were some golden opportunities to talk about creationism, but they were avoided. The old-earth evolutionist position is more or less assumed.
There’s a lot of talk about artists, but surprisingly little about creativity. The interior cultures is touted as all artist, and it’s a fine culture. I like it and would like living in it. But you’ll have to read that for yourself.
Spiritually, it’s quite confusing—1-star
It’s obviously supposed to be Christian, but for a child, it’s basically nothing. There’s no scripture, no Jesus, no Holy Spirit, no rebirth, all we see is a creator and an intellectually interesting point horizon event spoken of like…
The basic feel is universalist: everyone makes it in. There’s no hint of Hell, just some possible consequences of poor choices. You pass through the point horizon, known as The Way, and your choices determine where you end up.
Psychologically, problems are discussed and handled well. But there’s nothing spiritual going on. God is not active on the human plane.
Yet, it’s definitely not an a-spiritual clean read. It’s obviously meant to be an allegory designed to help children. But it will need some good parental guidance. There’s nothing as obviously bad as we die and become angels. There are no statements that everyone makes it to heaven. Everything is positive though they deal with fear, danger, and all the rest.
It’s an intriguing book. I’d read it first, before I gave it to my child.