- Paperback: 192 pages
- Publisher: Crossway Books (22 July 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1433501422
- ISBN-13: 978-1433501425
- Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.9 x 21 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 227 g
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 90,983 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Keeping Holiday Paperback – 22 Jul 2008
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About the Author
STARR MEADE served for ten years as the director of children's ministries in a local church and taught Latin and Bible for eight years in a Christian school. A graduate of Arizona College of the Bible and the author of two other books, including Training Hearts, Teaching Minds, Meade currently teaches home school students. She and her husband make their home in Mesa, Arizona, and she is mother to three grown children and three grandsons.
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In this story, Starr Meade teaches at least three cardinal Christian doctrines. First, the nature of gospel salvation; that is, salvation is initiated, acted and secured by God alone. The fact one seeks God is because God foreknew, i.e., fore-loved that person first before the foundation of the world. The linchpin of salvation is the atonement of sins through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, though she only vaguely alludes to this. Second, what Dylan and Clare go through illustrates a true persistent cross-bearing nature of the Christian life. This is tremendously necessary to answer the heresy of "Your Best Life Now" theology, whose effects not only ruin adults, but also potentially, if not already, children. Third, the sovereign providence and faithfulness of God who is not only the Creator of the universe but also the Ruler of it, who directs every person and event throughout history since the beginning of time with meticulous details, whose execution is guaranteed according to His immutable will.
If I were to offer some constructive criticism, it would be first, "Keeping Holiday" could have expanded the story to include a clearer illustration of the cross of Christ. Second, the description of the city of Holiday, if it were to represent heaven, sounds a little too worldly. And third, the ending is somewhat weak. Nevertheless, in case "The Pilgrim's Progress" is too difficult to grasp for young children, they can start by reading "Keeping Holiday" since there are some significant similarities between the two.
Keeping Holiday is written with elementary school children in mind. I think if my daughter were old enough to read this to her, I would have enjoyed the story better. The problem with allegory is that rather than communicating truths here or there, allegory forces the author to make more direct comparisons and carry them out through the whole story. This very often flattens the novel, which is why I believe allegory works better in short stories than full length novels. The exceptions of course are the Narnia books. But Meade is not able to pull it off as well as Lewis.
That said, I do think kids might enjoy this story. And with an adult to help tease out some of the meaning, it may create opportunities to talk about spiritual truth in a way that could be meaningful and memorable to a child.
I recommend parents read a book like this to a 2nd-5th grade student. I wouldn't recommend an adult read it on their own. I think you'll be bored.
Second, the theological truths Meade communicates are profound. There is a lot here that you won't find in other Christian children's book.
The comparison to Bunyan and Lewis is appropriate and becomes obvious as the story unfolds. However, don't expect writing and storytelling on the level of those classic authors. If you've ever read the "Magic Treehouse" series of books with your kids, the writing is about on that level. It is good, but I don't think people will be reading it 50 or 350 years from now.