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Life in the Times of Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad


by Kathy Lowinger

Best Books for Kids & Teens, Canadian Children’s Book Centre

The stories of three young people who experience the tumult—in three eras—as new religions are about to be born.

Dina is a slave, a weaver for the royalty of Ancient Egypt. Summoned to the royal chamber, Dina learns she will move south with the Queen and the Pharaoh to a bountiful oasis, but far away from her family and her Jewish faith. When Moses, a Hebrew who has defied the Egyptians, comes to visit, Dina must make a choice between the predictable life of a slave, or an uncertain one that promises more by following Moses into the desert.

Fifteen hundred years later, Rome’s oppressive rule has impoverished young Mattan’s family. He sets out from his home in Nazareth to make his own way, joining forces with an old trickster, to eke out a living performing around Galilee. When they come upon a man preaching in Capernaum, their lives change forever as they become followers of Jesus.

Around 622 A.D. Fallah, a Bedouin boy, fees from his desert home to break out of the grip of the blood feud that killed his father. Though he becomes a successful poet in the marketplace of Mecca, he and his brother are condemned to live forever as outsiders in a society dominated by a powerful tribe. Muhammad and his Companions offer them a different future—if they are brave enough to grasp it.

Drawing on both the historical and the imagined, Shifting Sands brings the past to vivid life. These stories expertly recreate how life might have been for young people living in the time of three of the world’s most important figures. Informative sidebars and full-color illustrations add historical flavor.

Reviews:

“… masterfully conveys the violence and beauty of these eras … an excellent resource for teaching the culture and history of these periods.”
—Quill & Quire, 01/14


“…a worthy book which may inspire greater respect and understanding among children of different faith backgrounds.”
—CM Reviews, 04/04/14


“… will appeal to kids who enjoy action … will inspire those who are drawn to, or possess, revolutionary spirits.”
—National Reading Campaign, Readerly, 04/08/14


“… be prepared for three very human stories of young people living through three formative moments in history.”
—Resource Links, 06/14


“… Lowinger has captured the spirit of how it might have felt to live in such dramatic historical times.”
—Canadian Children’s Book News, 06/14


“… would make a great school/library resource in terms of teaching about the history and culture of these time periods to school-aged children.”
—Edwards Book Club, 06/10/14


“… a well-researched book by a master storyteller.”
—Jewish Book Council, Fall/15


“… worth putting on the shelves of a public library to help cross-cultural understanding.”
—Quebec Library Association Bulletin, 04/16


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Kathy Lowinger