Title: Giants in the Land: Book 1: The Way of Things
Author: Clark Rich Burbidge
Publisher: WinePress Publishing
Note: I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review. Follow my other reviews at http://seekingwithallyurheart.blogspot.com/ and on twitter @lcjohnson1988
Have you wondered how your life would be affected if a group of people that you depended on and worked side by side with you for most of your life just left without a goodbye or explanation? That is what happened to the people of an entire village in the first book of Giants in the Land experienced, and they did not handle it well. In fact, they panicked and thought the world was coming to an end.
Clark Burbidge weaves together an allegorical tale for youth and young adults that tells of a villagers who had giants work by their side for generations, and then the giants just left without warning. The villagers, thinking this signaled the end of their village and way of life, did not realize that the purpose for the giants’ departure was actually in accordance with “the way of things” as the theme of the book states. People need help for a season when they cannot do what they were meant to do on their own, but a time comes when they have to learn to become giants themselves and stand on their own, which the main character Thomas learns as he alone sets off to find the giants on behalf of the village.
Thomas learns on his dangerous journey that trials will come and go, but “that is the way of things.” There is a certain order and purpose for each person’s life to unfold as it should. The giants of life are needed for individuals and groups, but those giants cannot continue to live vicariously for the ones that look up to them. The giants’ purpose was to help the others grow and learn to be strong and become giants themselves; however, when the people depend too much on their giant friends, they lose purpose and become codependent. Once the giants are gone, the people can start to live and work as they were meant to because that is “the way of things.”
Burbidge does a wonderful job telling his tale, which is full of several relationships involving Thomas and his wife and child as well as Thomas’ friendship with one of the giants, who he had worked in the fields side by side for many years. Thomas meets other giants, one of which was an outcast (by his own choosing) and who he helps to be restored to the other giants of the story. Thomas also learns about his family’s relationship to the giants, and he learns more about himself. Thomas learns that among his own people, he has become a giant, which has little to do with physical size. Although the scared villagers wanted to know why the giants left, and wanted them to come back, only Thomas was willing to go and search for them. Thomas learns, as he faces the daily dangers of wolves, hunger, and thirst during his search, that he is brave and a true leader—a giant among the villagers.
My rating 4 ½ stars.
I recommend this book for young readers, especially those in the middle school and junior high ages. It is a wonderful story that will help adolescents learn some healthy character traits with a biblical point of view.