Title: Where Lions Roar at Night
Author: Rosie Boom
Series: The Barn Chronicles, book 1
Major Themes: New Zealand, Family Life, Homeschooling, Farm Life
Synopsis: A large homeschooling family moves into a barn until they can get their house built, and have many adventures together.
We loved this book the first time we read it about five years ago, the first year we lived in New Zealand. I read it aloud to the family again a couple of years ago, and they all loved it again. I believe one of my sons has read it to himself since then, and now I reread it in order to review it. I loved it just as much this time as the first! If you enjoy the Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder, you will love The Barn Chronicles.
Where Lions Roar at Night is the true story of a homeschooling family living almost a pioneer life here in New Zealand. It is modern, however; I believe the events in this first book took place in 2007. The Boom family bought a piece of land on which to build a house. On the land was a 100-year-old barn, and the family decided to turn the barn into a house and live in it while they built a house. This volume chronicles their first year in the barn. During this first year, they experienced not one, not two, but three hundred-year storms, and found their quiet little river turned into a raging torrent! Many other adventures kept life in this family of six children exciting. Especially when 10-year-old Milly, the main character, was around, life was never dull.
I had the privilege of going to a meeting one evening, several months ago, at which Rosie Boom and her daughter Ellie spoke and sang. They showed a movie made of video clips which the family had taken during the years they lived in the barn, and Rosie gave a talk to mothers. The Boom family is passionate about their faith in Jesus. I loved Rosie and would like to get to know her better. Although this faith isn’t explicitly shown in the book, you can tell that the family is not your typical modern family. The parents and children love each other and work and play together. You will love reading about the interactions between them; this is a beautiful picture of what a family should be. It’s also a great glimpse into rural life in New Zealand!
And, where did the title for the book come from? The first night sleeping in the barn, Millie was kept awake by unearthly noises. She learned that just over the hill was a lion park! Being fans of Narnia, the family soon named many places on the farm for locations in the Chronicles of Narnia books.
WARNING: The word “darn” is used three times, in chapters 3, 4, and 22.
Listening Level—Ages 5 – 8, 8 – 12, 10 – 12, Family Friendly
Reading Independently—Ages 8 – 12, 10 – 12, 12 – 15, 15 and Above, Adults