Title: Star of Light
Author: Patricia St. John
Major Themes: North Africa, Arab lands, Missionaries, Blindness, Christian Fiction
Synopsis: A boy must save his blind baby sister from a life of misery, and discovers the Light of the World.
I just finished reading Star of Light to my children for the second time. As always when reading a book by this author, I was struck with her ability to weave the Christian message, the salvation story, into a book. She presented Jesus in a different way in each book; in this one, He is the Light of the World—the theme verse, woven throughout the story, is “I am the Light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” I found it interesting, knowing that ahead of time, to notice how often, from the first chapter to the last, light and darkness are mentioned and contrasted.
The story focuses on Hamid, a 10-year-old boy in a poor family in the mountains of Morrocco, northern Africa. After his father’s death, his mother had to remarry to keep her children fed. Life was hard, but bearable, for the unwanted children, until the day the stepfather sold blind 2-year-old Kinza to the beggar she had been “working” for. Hamid’s mother knew she must save her baby from such a fate, so she gave Hamid careful instructions to take his baby sister over the mountains to the English nurse in a distant town whose “saint” loved children. Hamid made the journey, and the English nurse took little Kinza in, loved her, and cared for her, but what happened when the stepfather came to the town on business and saw Kinza?
Star of Light is wonderful just as a reader, but also to supplement a study of Africa and Muslim lands. It is very inspiring as a story of the difference missionaries can make among people who live in darkness, and presents the Gospel message clearly.
Read Aloud—Ages 5 – 8, 8 – 12, 10 – 13, Family Read Alouds
Reading Independently—Ages 8 – 12, 10 – 12, 12 – 15