Monday, July 21, 2014

Book Review: Safe: Cara and Hao's Tale by Elle Bee

Safe: Cara and Hao’s Tale
By Elle Bee
Publisher: Elle Bee
Published: Sept 11, 2013

Amazon Synopsis:

Cara was picking flowers when the fire men came. Hao was fiddling with sticks. In the blink of an eye, their home was destroyed and their lives turned upside down. Their brother was arrested and their father was beaten within an inch of his life. Neither of them knew that being a Christian had such a cost. Words like "refugee" and "persecution" became part of, not only their vocabulary, but also their everyday life. 

Soon, all their family had to cling to was the reason everything was taken away: Jesus. Thankfully, they placed their eggs in the best basket and the miracles they begin to
 witness...we can't even imagine.

Join Cara and Hao on their miraculous journey as they flee to a new world, seeking to avoid the perils of religious persecution.

Book Links

My Thoughts:

Cara and Hao are two young Christian children in Vietnam out playing when some men with firebrands come marching towards their home with malicious intent. Cara and Hao race home but do not get there before the wicked men.

Cara and Hao is based on a true story of a family known to some missionaries in another country where persecution for Christian belief is the norm. The author wrote this book for children in the west so that they could begin to understand what children in other countries experience as part of their Christian faith.

Persecution for what a person believes is a difficult subject to write about. Helping a child understand what is happening and why it is happening is also difficult. I thought that this author did a good job of telling the story in a way that was easy for the younger child to comprehend what was happening without frightening him/her to pieces.

I felt this book was suitable for children ages 5 to 10 years of age. I think a few pictures would have added nicely to the book's overall presentation to children in this age group. For children who are able to read on their own the pictures would have added to their ability to decode the text by providing picture clues to the words and for those who could not, pictures would have added overall interest to the story.

Cara and Hao would be a unique addition to a home or school library where the topic of persecution for religious beliefs might want to be discussed. I thought the author did a great job of presenting the material in a non-frightening way that could easily encourage discussion.

Though the story itself deserves 4 stars, I was originally going to give Safe: Cara and Hao’s Tale 3 stars because of its’ lack of pictures, but when I spoke with the author and found out that she is working not only on pictures, but maps,  discussion and essay questions, vocabulary,  and reading  multiple choice questions at least for the print version of the book, I decided to give the book the full 4 stars.

Thank you to the author for providing a copy of the book in exchange for a fair and honest review. A positive opinion was not required. All thoughts are my own.

About the Author:

Elle Bee was born in San Antonio, Texas. At a young age she discovered her talent for writing and knew, one day, it would be her career. Soon, however, that desire was pushed aside as she entered high school, graduated, and moved on.

No matter where Elle Bee lived, everything transformed into a story before her eyes. Simple nights working at the coffee shop could easily be turned into grand adventures as well as a day working in the yard with children, and other "mundane" tasks. She was never without a good story.

In 2011, Elle Bee finally buckled down and started typing out and saving her stories. Although it wasn't until she took a trip across the world that she gathered the courage to share her writing with others. In 2013 she published her first work.

Just released:

THE EVIDENCE --- Raised practically by himself, ten year old Charlie would like nothing more than to be left alone. Unfortunately, he is a magnet for attention, particularly of the negative degree. Bullying. Blame. Teacher disapproval. For the majority of his life, Charlie has been able to take the attention in a "grin and bear" it sort of way

Author Links
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  1. Good review of an interesting book. Learning about what children and adults that live in countries that lack religious freedom is something we all can stand to learn a little more about.

  2. So true. I think we are so removed from it that we almost don't believe it happens.