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Reviewed by Lesley Jones for Readers' Favorite
In Joseph's Boy by L R Hay, six-year-old Jamie lives in Nazareth with his father Joseph and has dreams of one day being a prince; well, he is a descendant of King David, after all. While attending a festival with his father, he meets a young woman called Mary and is reminded of how wonderful a woman's kindness is, something he has not enjoyed since his own mother passed away. He convinces his father that she would make a perfect wife for him, and soon enough Joseph and Mary are planning their wedding. Jamie looks forward to being part of a family with younger siblings who, of course, are going to worship him and think he is clever. Jamie is also thrilled with the arrival of baby John, who is named as the one that is to prepare the way for the Son of God. Since John is related to Mary, maybe this means one day Jamie could be a prince. Meanwhile, the family travels to Bethlehem for the birth. Yehoshua (translated from Hebrew to Jesus) is born but danger looms as King Herod orders the death of all boys under two. The family escapes to safety. Everyone knows what happens to Yehoshua, but what does the future hold for his older brother Jamie? Did he ever become a prince?
The age range for this well written, biblically-based novel is pre-teens, but I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed it. The subject matter of Jamie awaiting the birth of his younger brother, the Messiah, is told in such a comedic way that it definitely brings the scriptures to a mainstream audience. The characters were colorful with memorable personalities, especially Jamie; he was a great protagonist. There were some definite laugh out loud moments throughout the story, such as the discovery of the immaculate conception and when Joseph needed a password to get into the inn. The author has a fantastic ability to draw the reader into the world of the characters, and there were even parts of the story where reader participation was needed. Overall, this story is superb and one that every age group would find interesting and hilarious.