July 28, 2016

The Relic

Several years ago I had the pleasure of receiving and reviewing Clark Rich Burbidge's series Giants in the Land. My sixth graders loved these books and were disappointed when the tale ended, so I was excited to hear that Mr. Burbidge has a brand new book/series available. Called The Star Passage Series, the first book is entitled The Relic.

Teenagers Tim and Martie are desperate to end their parents’ downward spiral. Between their father’s PTSD and their mother’s depression, their family has reached a breaking point.
Then an ancient Christmas ornament reveals its secrets, sending the siblings across the centuries on a search for hope. But Tim and Martie aren’t the only ones hunting through time. They’re being watched by dark figures—Trackers doomed to haunt history. These Trackers believe the teens’ ornament is their key to freedom, and they will do whatever it takes to steal it.
What begins as an exciting adventure becomes a deadly race. Can Tim and Martie find the answers they seek before their enemy finds them?....Deep River Books.

Part adventure, part historical fiction, and part inspirational literature, The Relic did not disappoint this middle grades teacher.

Clark Burbidge weaves an alluring tale of the Carson family as they travel through time with the help of a mysterious relic they call the Star of Passage, a large 8 pointed star about the size of an adult's hand. As the tale unfolds, the reader discovers that this is just one relic in a set of six stars from Orion's Belt. The other five stars grant the travelers special powers to aid them on their journeys.

And what journeys they have! The Carson family (Jim, Natalie, Tim, and Martie) meet George Washington at Valley Forge, experience a western wagon train, and travel on the H.M.S. Brittanic Hospital ship during WWI, learning about history while solving family issues and strengthening their values of faith, hope, love, and charity. With the help of the stars, goodly people, and an increasing reliance on prayer they overcome the Trackers, representatives of the power of darkness.

I can not wait to share this book with my students! 

It is a story worth sharing and should be a perfect read aloud for middle grade students. It is a novel suited to discuss the literary element of theme. The clearcut good vs. evil, faith will see you through, among others, makes it especially appealing for use in parochial/Christian schools. Because of its rich historical content it is particularly appropriate for comparing/contrasting with informational texts about the above mentioned events, a learning standard required as part of the Common Core. And finally, the well-crafted plot lends itself to a study of conflict and the elements of rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution.

I thoroughly enjoyed Mr. Burbidge's previous series for this age group, Giants in the Land, and it looks like Star Passage promises to be as good or better!

Click HERE to purchase the Kindle edition.
Click HERE to purchase the hardcopy edition.
Follow the author on Facebook.
Visit The Star Passage website.

I'm linking up with Andrea over at This Literacy Life for her Book Talk Thursday linky. Head on over to see what other books are being featured and to add one of your own.

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