Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Book Review: On the Run

A Fair Trade Book

Title: On the Run (Left Behind: The Kids: 10)

Authors: Jerry B. Jenkins and Tim LaHaye

Publisher: Tyndale House

Date: 2000

Length: 160 pages

Quote: “Because her father was such an outspoken Jewish believer, Nina, her brother, Dan, and Mrs. Ben-Judah were in constant danger.”

This is the tenth installment in the teen-focus supplement to the bestselling Left Behind series. The usual warning is applicable: this is a grim, dystopian science fiction series, and things won't get nicer in this fictional world for several more books.

The central characters would be a teen Sunday School class if this story were set in the world in which we live. It's not; it's set in a hypothetical post-Rapture world where all the Christians have vanished. A few good people who hadn't committed themselves to being Christians before the Rapture are left alive, and have become Christians now. They are being persecuted by a “Global Community” of people who are unknowingly serving the Evil Principle, incarnate in the global dictator Nicolae Carpathia (a charming man, generally considered handsome, sort of like the youthful Adolf Hitler, only blond). As a result the older teenagers in the group go to Israel, where they too are in constant danger, and the younger ones are still trying to convert a few more Christians in their classes at the new “Nicolae High School,” where they're likely to be sent to reform school.

Most of the characters will survive until the teen and adult series reach their happy ending, the (possibly presumptuously imagined) return of Christ to Earth.

Many people think the whole idea of writing a series of novels about The Apocalypse was presumptuous...but many people read it. The purpose of this series was to direct attention to the Christian message, which is presented to characters in each book. To some extent it's been successful. To what extent Left Behind: The Kids novels will help teenaged Christians who want to encourage friends to convert to Christianity, I'm not sure, but they do satisfy the need for gritty, prove-you're-tough-enough-to-read-this stories with Christian content.

Both Jenkins and LaHaye are still living so this is definitely a Fair Trade Book. We'll sell any volume of the Left Behind, Left Behind: The Kids, or Babylon Rising series for $5 per book + $5 per package, from which we'll send $1 to Jenkins or his charity for The Kids or Babylon Rising, $1 to LaHaye or his charity for Left Behind. The Kids volumes are small enough that, if you ordered eight of them, you'd pay us $45 and we'd send Jerry B. Jenkins $8. E-mail and real contact information are in the box at the very bottom of the screen.