"Did God create Satan, knowing all the bad things he was going to do? Did God create us, knowing we would also rebel against Him?"

Conjure the image of a nine-year-old child, orphaned and riddled with guilt for raiding vegetable gardens to satiate his fervent hunger pangs. Living in 1883 amid the backdrop of the smallpox epidemic, Christian is the ideal child. However, the heartwrenching image of his parents' bodies and belongings being carted away in a wagon sets him toward a path of consciousness that culminates in Christ's truth. Facing one test after another, Christian endures, acquiring a survival mindset and a spirit forged from a deep conviction of God's love.

Interestingly, Chipman creatively names his characters in a way that all audiences, particularly children, can receive the intended message. From Pastor Caring to Evangeline, Mr. and Mrs. Evangelist's daughter, every character's name reflects their personality. Perhaps the most intriguing element of this text is the author's unique approach to imparting the origin story of God's sacrifice, Lucifer's fall from grace, etc. With the integration of church in his life, Christian relishes discussing scripture passages and growing with Christ.

In stark contrast to traditional faith-based prose, Chipman's work exhibits a duality of plotlines. On the surface, this young adult coming-of-age story is reminiscent of Gary Paulsen's Hatchet and features Christian learning to fish and experiencing the first flames of love. At a deeper level, Christian's survival arc intersects with a zeal for experiencing God's love that takes on a whole new meaning when, mired in the depths of solitude, he encounters the ancient Family—the Father, Son, and Spirit. From this point, whether in his time with the Family or his role as a teacher of scripture, Christian is constantly prompting pertinent thought-provoking and eye-opening conversations and discussions on biblical phrases that impel each character and, on a holistic level, the audience itself to apply scripture and God's love into their daily lives.

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