The Great Flood by Matt Koceich (review)

thegreatflood_koceich_barbourWhat a fun way for young readers to experience the story of Noah’s Ark!  Now, I’m not a huge fan of time travel stories, but having a modern day 10 year old boy travel back in time gives young readers an instantly relatable character to experience the past through.  Along the way, we also experience Corey Max’s increasing understanding of faith.

Corey is facing a move from his Texas home to Florida, and resenting having to leave his friends behind.  Thrown back in time to 2400BC Mesopotamia, he meets Noah’s son Shem and begins to help herd pairs of animals and learns about the experiences of Shem’s family since God told Noah to build the ark.

Corey thought about his move and how he didn’t want any part of it.  He remembered his mother saying they all needed to rely on God because He doesn’t change.  Four thousand years later, God was leading Corey and his family to a new home.  Noah and his family had no idea where they were going, but they knew the One who was calling. (p.29)

As Corey helps Shem, the story quickly becomes more adventurous as they are threatened by giants, the Nephilim, and encounter an evil man, Elizar, who practices sorcery.  Corey learns more about the differing beliefs of the time, in a land where no one had ever seen rain, and how good people are led astray.  He also has a brief encounter with Noah that inspires him to deeper faith.

Corey felt stronger sitting next to this man.  Being on top of the ark didn’t hurt the feeling, either.  Here in this place, Corey felt like he had a purpose, and that purpose was directly related to God. (p.31)

Having Shem as Corey’s main companion in the adventure, rather than Noah himself, was a great choice for a younger audience.  While this brief story is not without plot holes, and is not particularly subtle in its storytelling, the adventure adds excitement to a well known story and the message of faith is clear.

Corey knew that running was his only choice, even though it didn’t seem like a good one.  Just like Dad wanting to move to Florida.  The thought made Corey realize another connection to this Noah’s ark world.  God met with Noah in the most hopeless situation, the flooding of everything, and made a way out for his salvation. (p.47)

I can see this being a favorite adventure for many readers in the target age range (8-12) and as an enjoyable read aloud, too.  The length and fast pace of the story should appeal to more reluctant readers and have them excited to continue with the next Imagine adventure.

The Great Flood (Imagine, #1) by Matt Koceich | Barbour Books, 2017 | paperback, 112 pages

This review refers to a finished copy won in a GoodReads First Reads giveaway, courtesy of the publisher.  All opinions expressed are my own.

From the Publisher:

The last thing ten-year-old Corey remembers (before the world as he knew it disappeared) was the searing pain in his head after falling while chasing his dog Molly into the woods. What happens next can’t be explained as Corey wakes up and finds himself face-to-face with not one but two lions! Imagine. . .The Great Flood is the first release in an exciting, brand-new epic adventure series for kids ages 8 to 12 written by schoolteacher and missionary, Matt Koceich. The Imagine series brings the Bible to life for today’s kids as they ponder what it would be like to live through a monumental biblical event.


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