Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Two Collars, by Jeri Massi

A young slave girl is a juggler in a traveling entertainment troupe in the kingdom of Folger. Krea has no memory of her parents. Her memories include her current master, and the rest of the troupe (Betty, Dolly, Jolly, and Piper), and some faint emotions to her life in the Caves. No one has loved her, and she is always cold, hungry, and tired. Then, she meets an old woman, who buys her, cares for her, and raises her to be a healer. She later discovers that the old woman, whom she has come to love, is the Queen of Bracken, who has been forced into hiding by her usurping nephew, the King of Folger. Krea chooses to serve her beloved mistress as a courier for the faithful soldiers to the true King. She comes across many adventures, which all test her loyalty to her beloved Mistress, and to the rightful King, and even to her old troupe.

I first read this tale in second grade, and have kept it ever since. I love the growth that young Krea experiences, as she grows to love and treasure her beloved Mistress. She learns of values that run deeper than hunger and survival. This young girl grows into a woman of learning, respect, and honor, who will serve her enemies rather than betray her conscience.

Jeri Massi is a wonderful story teller who sought to relate the adventurous life of a Christian in her stories to young children. She strives to give examples of honor, dedication, loyalty, respect, and love in this book, which are powerful enough to leave an impact, and simple enough to be understood by young readers. Her style is such that is best understood when read aloud for the first time, making this book a perfect bedtime chapter book for the budding reader. The scenes are never so terrifying, even at their saddest, that the child will be left wondering in fear. Instead, the child will be show the clear distinction between right and wrong, without bypassing the difficulty of making the right decision.

All in all, this story brings high adventure to the life of Christianity at a level that a young girl will understand.The child will grow to understand responsibility, kindness, gentleness, self-control, patience, and all the fruits of the spirit through Krea's adventure.

And, luckily, it is the third in a trilogy. More to come on the first and second books.

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