Cover Image: Imagine... The Tower Rising

Imagine... The Tower Rising

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Member Reviews

I LOVED this book! It was so interesting to see how things could have been for kids back in Bible days. I truly cannot wait to pass this book on, and to read others like it! 

Thank you Netgalley and publisher for my copy of this book. All reviews expressed are my own, and I have not been obligated to leave a positive review.
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Not for me. Or my family more accurately since I read books like this to see if I can recommend them for younger readers.

I expected this to be a little like Adventures in Odyssey but I didn't nor did I finish it as I didn't like the dark feel.
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While on the observation deck of the Willis Tower in Chicago with her family, Bella is suddenly transported to Shinar in 2300 B.C. There she sees the Tower of Babel mid-construction and becomes caught up in a dark plot to lead the people astray.

I am not completely sure what I just read. I expected an adventure similar to Superbook or Adventures in Odyssey, but there is definitely something else going on here. The tower being built, the reasons behind it, and Bella's attempt to stop the people and explain why what they're doing is wrong is a small part of the book (which is quite short anyway). But then there are some strange and unexpected fantasy elements going on, with a boy and a woman who are sort of like her guides through this experience, while also at times seeming to not know anything outside of what they should know if they were just regular people from that time period.

Then there are a couple of chapters that are "outside" of the adventure, involving people who are never properly introduced, and it's never explained who they are or why they're involved. One of them can communicate with the "bad guy" involved in the tower building, and gives him instructions. It's clear from this that there is a whole over-arcing plot going on throughout this series, and I jumped in at book 6. My mistake, but there was nothing in the synopsis at all that would give any indication that these stories are so very connected. Out of curiosity, I have now read the first book in the series, and it was nothing like this book; no over-arcing plot line was set up either, so I can only guess it came up later in the series.

So...I had a difficult time deciding on a star rating for this book. It was like reading someone's account of a dream. I don't want to down-rate it due to being so completely lost about the series-long story, but it would have been a lot better if I'd known I was being thrust into this ongoing, apparently supernatural battle between good and evil (for as much as I could tell from those sections).
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A wonderful book! I would recommend this to anyone. Was a quick, easy and a very enjoyable read. I would love to be able and read more from this author anytime
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I decided to request this book to review through Netgalley, which they granted in exchange for my honest opinion, because I've never read a Christian novel which revolves around the Biblical story of the Tower of Babel and I was anxious to do so. Even though it's aimed at a younger market (younger than me for sure), I found it kept my attention even at my ripe old age of older than mold, but younger than dirt. Just as I thought the story would meander into a teen angst area for a while, the fantasy elements would kick-in with something truly unique, like having a stone with words on it melt into your hand, and it would grab my attention afresh.

It takes a few liberties in adding to the Biblical account of how mankind came to speak all our different languages, but it sticks to Scripture as close as it can for a speculative fiction story with a time/place shifting pre-teen as the protagonist. In fact, the story's main goal is to share the gospel, so it is full of Bible verses and life lessons from a Christian perspective. Even though adults will enjoy it, ultimately older children and teenagers will be able to relate to it the most.

With no profanity, sex, and only mild violence, I am happy to recommend this creative, well-constructed story about a time in history that definitely merits another look. I also note that this book is a part of a series which I also think merits some further investigation. 

Thank you to Netgalley for the opportunity to read this book and to you for reading another one of my book reviews.

Sincerely, Laura-Lee
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Honestly, this was a challenge to read. Perhaps because I haven't read the other 5 books in the series, I found it difficult to follow what was going on and what was expected of the main character. 
I expected it to be a Christian book, and as a Christian, that was part of the reason I chose to read it. Unfortunately I found it extremely preachy which made it a lot less appealing to read. 

I wouldn't expect many 11+ year olds to be interested as parts of it are quite heavy on the preachiness. A shame, as the premise is very good.
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When I saw this book available for review, I was intrigued. There are not many stories about the Tower of Babel, and especially not for kids.

There is high adventure as Bella and her new friend, Zion race to the top of the tower, chased by wolves and an evil being. I liked the way the elements of the spiritual armor we are told to don in the book of Ephesians showed up in the story to help Bella fight her battles.

I also appreciated the message of how important it is to not allow the accolades of others to become idols. It was nice that the author didn't shy away from using a rich vocabulary yet kept the story age-appropriate.

Imagine... The Tower Rising was not at all what I had expected. I thought it was going to be on the lines of the Adventures in Odyssey series or Many Waters by Madeleine L'Engle, telling the story of a Biblical event through the eyes of a child from the present age. Not much of this story is about the building of the tower nor of the people at the time. Instead, when Bella travels unexpectedly in time to the Tower of Babel, her adventure is with fighting the powers of darkness attempting to build a tower to heaven in order to conquer the Kingdom of Heaven. I wasn't clear why it was her responsibility to stop the building of the tower. . .

A fun adventure, I classify this one as Christian fiction but not Biblical fiction.

Imagine... The Tower Rising is a fun adventure for elementary readers.
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I like the Imagine series and Imagine... The Tower Rising is probably my favorite so far. I am giving it four and a half stars.
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Bella Rhodes is a young writer on vacation with her family in Chicago. After a moment in an elevator Bella is taken back in time to fight against an ancient power and spread the truth.

The 6th in a series, each book focuses on a different child in a different time in biblical history. Personally I found this book to be rather confusing with Bella having visions within her imagination and also the roles of the supporting characters as they didn't have much time to develop them, but they seemed to know things about the mission, and then other times they would seem to have knowledge that would have made more sense for a person living in their time in place. Like when Zion and Bella are talking and Bella mentions her knowledge of Scripture, and he acts like he doesn't know what she is referring to as the Bible hasn't been written yet, but then later when they use the armor of God to escape the clutches of the bad guys, he reassures her telling her they are the armor of God like in the gospel.  It had themes of spiritual warfare, and there seems to be some great plan and reason behind these children having these adventures, but it was lost on me since I hadn't read the previous books--which is completely my fault. 

I liked the theme giving proper praise to God rather than giving worship to idols or trying to attain praise ourselves.

In the end this book just didn't work for me, and some facets of the story felt rushed or clunky. I think it's an interesting concept, but it didn't work for me. 

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions are my own.
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It's a book that seems interesting to me to read or to make read to discover the biblical writings in another way...

However, I didn't hang too much, probably because I do not feel concerned (being an atheist) and that I read it in a period when I would have preferred not to approach religion so closely.
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Positive aspects about the book:
I appreciate the biblical aspects of this book. For example, when Bella  feels herself becoming afraid, she remembers Psalm 23. Reciting the Psalm reminds her that the Lord is with her and she doesn't need to fear. There are many references to Scripture, and emphasizes the practical application that God's Word has for us in any situation. Also, Bella's prayer life and faith increase throughout the book, showing the importance of relying on God and walking in relationship with Him. 
Bella's desire for human approval and acceptance is very real. Don't we all desire to feel those things? I like that the author incorporates that into the book, especially for a young vulnerable girl in those formative years. Ultimately, she learns that her approval and acceptance will never be satisfied in anyone other than Jesus. Before the book even reaches its halfway point, Bella realizes she doesn't "need another person to make her feel worthy. She was enough because God was with her." (page 226).  A powerful, fitting lesson for adolescents, not to mention all of us.
 There is a lot of suspense and mystery in the story to keep kids engaged. It teaches biblical history, as well as some real-life lessons that pertain to young teens. 
 Not only is there a lot of Scripture and practical application, the author does a tremendous job of relating the biblical accounts to our modern day situations. For example, Bella encounters an "edgy" man, who got offended when she questioned a motto written on a paper she found. She can't figure out why he's so upset. Then someone informs her that he was the one who came up with the motto, and had been accepted by the leaders because of his contribution. She was reminded of how she relied on "likes" and comments on her social media accounts and how the positive comments, or lack of comments, would affect her mood. 
 A powerful story about good versus evil. Bella and her friend Zion use God's word and the armor to fight off the bad guys. There's mention of a shield, special shoes, and they are quick to give God the glory. 
One personal criticism I had of the book: At 13 years old, Bella has her own YouTube channel where she creates videos teaching and encouraging other kids who don't like writing. She admits that she enjoys the approval from kids all around the country. Having a 12-year old myself, we can't relate to someone so young having so many social media accounts. We are very careful in our home with our children's use of the internet, and social media especially. However, I do realize that there are many young kids heavily involved with this, and it is very much a reality. Bella seems to obsess about her subscribers and the "positive comments were the only bright spots in her day." I'm sure many kids will be able to relate. And, thankfully, her obsession is realized and she does come to terms that her approval must come from Jesus alone, as I mentioned above.
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This was a super fun read-aloud in my family! We thoroughly enjoyed this book and plan to get the rest of the series we don’t already have! I highly recommend if you’re looking for Christian middle grade fiction!
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This book is full of excitement that will holds your attention. Even though it's wrote for children ages 8+ the message it contains is wonderful for adults too. The author did an excellent job of writing a story about putting on the amour of God that will hold a child's attention. I highly recommend this book and the entire series. Thank you Barbour Publishing via NetGalley for the ARC copy of this book. All opinions expressed are my own.
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I received this book from Netgalley in return of an honest review

I really liked this book. The characters, plot and setting were all very immersive. This book also had very good lessons for kids to remember. I highly recommend this book for kids ages 11+
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