This fiction book by Sigmund Brouwer is published by Thomas Nelson Publishers and is written for kids ages 9 to 12. The age range reflects readability and not necessarily content appropriateness.
Following the great Water Wars of 2031, water is a highly-prized commodity to the citizens of New York. Their ranks are polarized between two extremes: those in control of the water who live Mainside and run the economy and the have-nots who live in the miserable slum-like conditions of Old Newyork. The have-nots are at the mercy of power-hungry gangs run by warlords. Now it's 2096, and while the government plans to launch a heat bomb to overtake and empty the slums, a secret resistance committee of 12 has been formed with the goal of finding someone qualified to bring the hope of the Gospel to the have-nots. The search narrows to one final candidate, Mok, and he endures a series of virtual reality cyberadventures that subject him to intense, life-or-death situations that ultimately prove his mettle, although not without a lot of complications that threaten his life.
As a youngster, Mok, hears about the "Galilee Man" in an audiobook, and he questions whether this story and the man is part of a fairytale or is real. Through each of his cyberadventures, he learns more about this man, and he comes to believe in Him. He even experiences Christ's healing power in a miraculous virtual encounter.
Although Mok never knew his parents, has no formal schooling and grows up in a setting where sheer brute force rules, his exposure to the audiobook about the Galilee Man shapes him into one who is quite different from others in his world. Even in the most difficult situations, he is respectful and compassionate, operating with honesty and integrity.
Other Belief Systems
Mok encounters pharaohs, pirates, Nazis, Pawnee Indians and Wild West snake-oil salesmen in his adventures. As he meets each, he assesses them in light of what he knows about the truth of the Galilee Man.
None, but there are some scenes in which Mok's life is threatened by those who want to kill him at any cost. The scenes are not graphic.
If your children have read this book or someone has read it to them, consider these discussion topics:
- Mok lives in a world without laws and "might makes right," yet he shows compassion to people.
Why do you think he behaves this way?
- How would you have responded in each of the difficult choices Mok faces in the cyberadventures?
- At the end, Mok is given a chance to live on the Mainside where he would be a wealthy corporate executive or go back to the slums to minister to his people.
What would you do if you faced a similar decision?
Note: This book was previously released as six separate books.
Book reviews cover the content, themes and worldviews of fiction books, not their literary merit, and equip parents to decide whether a book is appropriate for their children. A book's inclusion does not constitute an endorsement by Focus on the Family.