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Children's LiteratureUriah-Tarhund, a teenage warrior orphaned by the conquering Achaean army, flees his homeland in the Hittite Empire to find his way among hostile armies and kind strangers in this coming-of-age tale set in the Middle East in 1200 B.C. The novel blends archeological sources, fictional characters, and the story of a great battle between the Canaanites and the Hebrews recounted in the fourth chapter of the Bible's Book of Judges. Sometimes by accident, sometimes by design, Uriah journeys from one ancient city to the next, from friend to foe, as he seeks a safe refuge, and to uphold the honor of the Hittites, while keeping promises to his late father and to friends made along the way. Place names and characters names are so exotic that to young readers they may sound like monikers from modern books of fantasy and science fiction. The only thing that holds this book back from mainstream appeal as a historical adventure story is its heavy use of both biblical and historical references, which sometimes overload the plot, especially in the later chapters. First published in 1960 by Knopf, this reprinted edition includes an introduction for Christian home-educators that suggests how to teach the book and also how to extend its learning value with readings from the Bible. Uriah's engaging story will have value both to students interested in ancient civilizations and to students of the Bible; it does not read like a book aimed exclusively at a religious audience. The author wrote six other historical novels for children, including books set during the French Revolution, Julius Caesar's Rome, and a retelling of Shakespeare's Henry VI trilogy. 1999 (orig. 1960), Bethlehem Books, Ages 10 up.
—J. H. Diehl