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Customer Reviews for Christian Focus Publications Ivan and the American Journey

Christian Focus Publications Ivan and the American Journey

The Ivan series will have children on the edge of their seats as they experience a different culture, historical period and a different world of just 30 years ago! But they will see that in one sense, these two worlds aren't that different. Christian children in any era or country will identify with Ivan ns Katya's struggles to stay faithful despite the name-calling, teasing and enmity of their fellow classmates. They'll also see the other side of persecution--the separation from families, the secrecy, fear of discovery, interrogations and injustice of a communist/atheistic society.

In Ivan and the American Journey, Ivan can't believe it. He didn't think anyone would allow a Christian to win the prize, but he won the All-Moscow History prize. He will get the chance to travel to America but the journey is full of adventure and intrigue.

Once again Ivan has to face up to danger and the Secret police. He has heard of people who wish to escape from the Soviet Union and defect to the West and he comes face to face with a defector. Should he help or should he just walk away? Aren't Christians supposed to help everybody? Ivan has some difficult issues to tackle and some nerve-wracking decisions to make. Will Ivan tell the authorities about his friend or will he help them even if it means risking his own life? Recommended for ages 9 to 12.

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Customer Reviews for Ivan and the American Journey
Review 1 for Ivan and the American Journey
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

action packed story

Date:June 3, 2013
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Wayne S. Walker
Location:Salem, IL
5 out of 5
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Twelve-year-old Ivan Nazaroff lives in Moscow, Russia, then part of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, with his Poppa, Momma, and sister Katya. It is during the days of Mikhail Gorbachev’s time of glasnost. The Nazaroffs are believers or Christians. Because Ivan is not part of the Communist Young Pioneers, he gets to play soccer only because he is so good, and now his history essay earns him an All-Moscow Prize with a five week school trip to study in America only because the international exchange program requested a religious student to be part of the Moscow group.
Thus, Ivan arrives at Stephen Academy in Vermont with several other students and their two chaperones, Olga Dubrovna and Yuri Fedorchuk. He makes friends with an American girl named Courtney Campbell and even gets to go to an American church service. However, he learns that one of his fellow-students, Georgei Koragin, wishes to defect to America and asks Ivan’s help. If it is known that Ivan assists him, he and his whole family could be severely punished. Ivan wants to go back to Russia to be with his family, so what will he do? Will he tell the chaperones about Georgei, or will he aid the boy at the risk of his own life? And who else might want to defect? I first heard about the “Ivan” Classic Historical Fiction series in 2007 from Timberdoodle, a homeschool resource supplier. The first five in the set are Ivan and the Moscow Circus, Ivan and the Daring Escape, Ivan and the Informer, Ivan and the Hidden Bible, and Ivan and the Secret in the Suitcase, with Ivan and the American Journey as the sixth and final one. Therefore, when I saw it at a used curriculum sale, I picked it up immediately.
The books are designed to give children a glimpse of what it means to be a believer under terrifying conditions of secrecy, fear of discovery, and interrogations, and of the injustice in a communist/atheist society that is part of everyday living in such places. Russia may be very different since the fall of the U. S. S. R., but there are still communist nations on earth, and communist oppression, regardless of the country or generation, remains the same. A couple of religious items with which some people may disagree are that an organ is played in the church service and the preacher is called a pastor. However, Ivan and the American Journey is generally wholesome and filled with adventure, intrigue, and courage. Although it is set in a different culture and historical period, Ivan faces the same struggles which all godly children face. Does he want to please God more than man? Does he believe that God can keep him safe? I would highly recommend the books to kids who enjoy action-packed stories.
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