The Eagle by Vicki Gibson
Thought-provoking children's fiction that raises questions about some of life's biggest conundrums
By Vicki Gibson
Author House UK
Reviewer: Paul Hobson
If you’re looking for a fast-paced, thought-provoking fiction for the late primary/early secondary-aged children in your life, this could be for you.
Gibson, a Baptist church member, is a former head of Philosophy and Religion and a keen proponent of telling stories to help children explore and understand spiritual truths.
This is evident in her first novel The Eagle, which follows the story of brother and sister Rebekah and Jacob as they navigate a trying period in their home and school life. Into the mix comes an encounter with The Eagle, a mysterious Aslan-type figure. The nature of the encounter, with its parallels to Genesis, leads to questions about the consequences of our choices, and even bigger conundrums, such as whether there is a God.
Other major talking points emerge as the plot unfolds. Bullying, stranger danger, and chaotic home life are all vividly expressed, and provide much potential focus for discussion with those in the 9-14 year old age group.
My own nine-year-old, something of a book-worm, was so hooked by its plot and symbolism he finished The Eagle in a couple of sittings (waking halfway through the night to do so). When I subsequently read it, he discussed the questions raised by the book at length, enough to tell me that Gibson has cleverly distilled her experience of children’s natural spiritual curiosity into a readable and captivating work.
Recommended. (And great to know a sequel is on its way).
Paul Hobson is a writer/editor in the Faith and Society Team of the Baptist Union of Great Britain. As part of this role he edits The Baptist Times.