Last year in our Bible Club at church (our K-4th grade midweek Bible Program), we were tackling the Biblical theme of the Armor of God from Ephesians 6. Wanting to try something new, I decided to tell the kids a story. So, every other Wednesday, I wrote for the kids and then that evening sat down with them and told them the story of Michael and Hope.
For many of us in Reformed circles, John Bunyan’s classic novel, The Pilgrim’s Progress, holds a special place in our hearts. It is a story that I wasn’t introduced to until later in life, but it is one that my children have both read (several times, actually!) and been influenced by. In fact, I remember the excitement on my son’s face when he came home from school one day and told us about this book they were reading in class.
Bunyan left open the idea that there were other pilgrims along the road to the Celestial City. So, rather than trying to retell the story of Christian and Christiana, I set forth to write a new story (in the spirit of the old) of two more pilgrims on the road: Michael and Hope who would be joined by others in their adventures.
What humbled me during the process was just how responsive the children were to the story. They looked forward to new installments with anticipation and could tell me what happened in previous chapters even though sometimes we read the chapters weeks apart. Their excitement birthed the idea to perhaps share this story with a wider audience.
While originally written as a story to be read out loud, it has been thoroughly edited and tweaked to be able to stand as a novel on its own. It has also been wonderfully illustrated by a local artist, Tessa Sentell, who used her gifts to bring Michael and Hope to life along with Prudence and others they meet on the road. We aimed the novel format toward readers ages 8-12, but my experience with our Bible Club kids and volunteers is that the story is one that will be enjoyed by readers of all ages.
Middle Tree Press has chosen to publish the book. It can be found either on Amazon or on their website. If you go to Middle Tree Press’ website, they are offering a 10% discount if you type in the code: MichaelHope10.
I hope you like it. Middle Tree Press has also set up a blog window for us to continue the conversation about the book and the themes that the book develops. Sign up for updates from Middle Tree and you will be able to follow along and interact with these discussions.
On Amazon, click here
On Middle Tree Press, click here