Saturday, November 15, 2008

Book review: The Missing Link: Found!

I have had a love for reading for as long as I have had the ability. I remember practically living at the library during the summer breaks from school. I would sit on the floor in the stacks reading parts of my small mountain of checked out books. Some of my favorites, I'd say at around age 9 or 10, were books from the Nancy Drew mystery series. They were such page-turners!! Each story centered around three close friends sharing adventures together while they used their smarts to solve some mystery in which they became involved. Are there modern day fiction books for the preteen/teen audience with the same kind of draw?

The Missing Link: Found!, written by Christina and Felice Gerwitz (a daughter-and-mother team) and published by Media Angels, is the first of three books in The Truth Seekers Mystery Series. The story begins with the Murphy family on a boat enjoying a bit of deep sea fishing. By the fifth page adventure erupts as the charter fishing boat is boarded by armed FBI agents from a helicopter hovering overhead! After a high speed boat chase, an exchange of bullets, and an explosion, Dr. Jack Murphy receives a strange email from his brother Mike. The troublesome message leads the teenage Murphy's, Christian and Anna, and their father to an archaeological dig. A 30-year-old mystery of stolen treasure is retold, and someone goes missing. Why are certain individuals coming down with a mysterious illness, and has the first real transitional form skeleton been unearthed--giving support to the theory of evolution?

My final verdict: Should I be embarrassed to say that I really, really like this book? I'm nowhere near the age group for which it was written, but the book drew me in because, just like the Nancy Drew books from summer times long ago, it has great action, mystery, and suspense from beginning to end! The added bonus is that it is about a Christian family! Throughout the story the Murphy's demonstrate their love for the Lord and acknowledge His hand in the events in their lives. The father has chosen his family over pursuing a self-absorbed career. The Murphy's pray together frequently, both in thanksgiving to God and for help in times of need. The teenagers wish to see others come to Christ and desire to be good witnesses for Jesus. The main topic of the book, evident by the title, is the discussion between those who believe in Biblical Creation and those who believe in Evolution. The dialogue is calm and is presented as rational and balanced conversation between Dr. Murphy and his children on the side of Creationism, and Cousin David and an archaeologist at the dig site on the side of Evolution. Both sides bring in science to support their points of view: Carbon-14 age dating, site chronology, and fossilization. In the back of the book is a Letter From the Editor explaining that even though the book is fiction, facts were used to write the majority of the story, and a helpful Glossary is also included to define scientific terms used. Without giving away any of the details, God's Truth is the winner at the end of the book! This is great fiction reading for the preteen/teen--though be advised the action sometimes includes a bit of violence (but no gore): guns (used by good guys and by not-so-good guys), shooting (resulting in one person getting hit), and an explosion.

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