Thursday, November 6, 2014

The Innkeeper of Bethlehem by Scott Roloff

Genre: Christian Fantasy
Source: I purchased

When I was a child my mom would sit us down each night for a Bible story.  This was our devotional time.  It was important to her that we learn the importance of hearing and telling the stories at a young age.  This book would be great for parents who want to continue sharing stories nightly with their children.  This is a wonderful way to bring Santa Claus into the Christmas story. 

The story starts off with a visit from an aunt, uncle and cousin from Jerusalem to their relatives in the United States.  The kids, Kallie and Pinkie, love to hear their Uncle Aaron tell stories and beg him for one.  He tells them that the story he is going to tell them started in Bethlehem. Instead of the usual story of Mary, Joseph and Baby Jesus, he tells the story from the perspective of the Innkeepers Shai and Adi.  They rent out every available space in the inn, and are forced to sleep in the stable.  Adi was not happy about this.  Then along come Mary and Joseph.  Mary gives birth to baby Jesus.  It is shortly after this the story takes a turn.  When Mary and Joseph flee from Herod, Shai and Adi travel with them.

Uncle Aaron knows just when to stop a story to keep the audience hanging.  That is what he does.  He tells them just a little bit each day up to Christmas.  That is what is unique about this book.  This book is set up so that you can read it in one sitting, like I did, or you can read a chapter a night.  I think that this would be the best way to do this with little kids. 

Where does Santa fit into all of this?  I really think you need to read the book to find out.  For those who want a Christian story with no deviation then this might not be the book for you.  For those of you who want a book that tells the story of Jesus from birth to death and yet brings in the secular part of Christmas, then this is definitely the book for you.  Just remember it is not all fact.  That is not what the author set out to do.  It is a lot easier to show Santa’s beginnings this way than to fill your child’s mind with the rosy cheeked Santa they see on all of the  TV programs then tell them one day.  Oh I figured you would be old enough to understand there is no such thing as Santa.  At least this book tells the story of Santa’s beginnings as if it is a tale being told to children.  I loved it.  I can’t wait to share it with my grand kids this year.  I am purchasing a copy for my daughter to read to them.  I’d like for her to start that tradition each year.

About the Author

Scott Roloff is the author of the Christmas book The Innkeeper of Bethlehem-The Story of Santa Claus, the novel Dreams at Dusk and Short Stories for the Hopeful and the Weary. He is a lawyer and a CPA, having received his accounting degree from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, his MBA from the University of Texas at Arlington, and his law degree from Southern Methodist University. Scott lives in Texas with his wife, Lynne.

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