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Reviewed by Donna Gielow McFarland for Readers' Favorite
Battle in the Valley by Cole Blumer and Susanne Blumer is part of the Bell Tower Bible Adventure Series, which offers a creative approach to teaching children stories from the Bible. Twins Caroline and Chip and their friend Billy have stumbled upon a way to travel back in time. They meet in the church bell tower, ring the bell and voilá! They are somewhere else in another time. In Battle of the Valley, they land near a pasture where a shepherd named David is taking care of his sheep. David has to save the kids from a lion, which he scares off using his sling. Soon, Caroline, Chip, and Billy realize that David is the David from the Bible. They accompany him to the battle where he confronts the giant Goliath.
Cole Blumer and Susanne Blumer have written this story for young readers who are ready for chapter books. It would be perfect for kids in grades 1-3, but it could also be read to younger children. There are occasional black and white illustrations that add to the story. I found the treatment of the account of David and Goliath to be accurate to the biblical story. There are added elements because of the presence of the children, but a child reading this book would not be misled about the details. I think telling the story of David and Goliath by inserting modern-day children into the narrative is very effective. From reading Battle in the Valley, I would recommend the Bell Tower Bible Adventure Series for use by Sunday School teachers, Christian schools and families.