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Lead by example. Let your children see you reading for pleasure in your spare time.
Summary: James the Archangel gives the nine members of the AWA gang the responsibility of finding a place for Jesus to be born. This is their first major mission. After searching far and wide, the A.W.A. found a birthplace for Jesus in Bethlehem. It was a great challenge for the young angels who successfully accomplished their mission and earned respect for the A.W.A. Gang. This is the story of Christ's birth from the Angel's perspective.
Type of Reading: family reading, playtime reading, read aloud book
Recommended Age: read together: 6 to 12; read yourself: 9 to 12
Interest Level: 6 to 10
Age of Child: Read with 3-year-old child. Also to be reviewed by Teen STAR Review Team at Be the Star You Are!
Young Reader Reaction: Although our preschooler loved Meet the A.W.A. Gang, s/he had a hard time sitting through this book, even when we tried highlight reading. BTSYA reviewer:
I would recommend this book to children ranging from seven to eleven. The pictures on each pages is very animated. It is very interesting to read, since the time of the story is set in ancient time with modern characters. In other words, characters in the novel are dressed in modern clothes and talk very modernly, though the setting is based upon ancient times. This book was very enjoyable to read.
Adult Reader Reaction: This was a tough read, even without our preschooler around. The narrative is laden with lots of details about the characters, what the A.W.A. Gang is, and secular and religious history. It was a lot for us to keep up with.
Pros: The story is packed with valuable information for setting both the historical and religious contexts of Christmas. The young angels are today's kids in white garb and with backpacks.
Cons: The book may be trying to do TOO much. While the search for a suitable birthplace for the King of Kinds makes for a viable, effective plot technique, the story (despite all the words) doesn't reconcile the modern-ish angels with an historical event very well.
Borrow or Buy: Borrow. The premise of the story is creative and the illustrations will be engaging to older kids.
Educational Themes: The purpose of this book, and its related series, is to retell stories from the Bible in ways that will capture the interest and imagination of young people. Parents, teachers, and Sunday school teachers a valuable and enjoyable resource to share with their charges.
Literary Categories: Fiction - picture book series, Christian, Christmas