Title: Hadassah: Esther, the Orphan QueenHadassah
Author: William H. Armstrong
Illustrator: Barbara Byfield
Pages: 75
Recommended Ages: 9-14
Star Rating: ★★★★

A story about Queen Esther from the Bible!

The Story.                                                                                                                    

Esther never aspired to be queen. When Vashti disobeyed her drunken husband, King Artaxerxes, and refused to unveil herself before his companions, she was promptly dismissed from her position. A search was started to provide the King with a new wife, a better wife – a more beautiful wife.

Beautiful maidens were chosen from every corner of the kingdom. Esther was one of those chosen and, in the end, she was established as royal Queen over Persia. But her position was ever in peril, for Esther was a Jew, and King Artaxerxes did not know it.

When evil Haman plots to kill all of the Jews, Esther prays to God for strength. Should she stay quiet and hope no one reveals her true identity? Or should she boldly appeal to the king for justice?

Discussion.

Hadassah is basically the book of Esther told in expanded prose with a few additional scenes and more historical detail. In certain scenes, where the Bible merely tells us what happens, Hadassah explains the event in the context of the culture and history. Hadassah in no way seeks to add to the Biblical narrative, nor does it. It is merely a slight expansion of the same story told in respectful terms.

No cautions whatsoever.

Conclusion. A great story – not really necessary since we have the same account in the Scriptures, but helpful where it adds occasional detail.

Review © 2014 Laura Verret

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