Shift­ing Sands: Life in the Times of Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad

Kathy Lowinger
  • Review
By – February 2, 2016

This is a well-researched book by a mas­ter sto­ry­teller. Kathy Lowinger paints a vivid pic­ture of life in the times of Moses, Jesus, and Mohammed from a young-adult point of view. The dia­logue and sen­so­ry details enhance the var­i­ous set­tings and the char­ac­ters are well drawn. The sto­ry of Moses and the Exo­dus is told from the point of view of Dina, 14, a slave in the House of Weavers in Egypt, cir­ca 1320. Mat­tan, a shep­herd in Judea, cir­ca 33 CE, wit­ness­es a Roman mas­sacre at a syn­a­gogue in Nazareth and relates the devel­op­ment of Chris­tian­i­ty. Fal­lah, a young poet in Ara­bia, 622 CE, describes the rise of Muhammed as a leader. 

The notes in the back of the book add infor­ma­tion to enhance the learn­ing. Maps and sev­er­al illus­tra­tions are includ­ed. While the author claims she didn’t set out to pro­vide a com­par­a­tive reli­gion text, this book would be a wel­come addi­tion to the cur­ricu­lum of schools. It might even fos­ter dia­logue and under­stand­ing among reli­gious groups. This book is high­ly rec­om­mend­ed for ages 10 and up.

Sandy Lan­ton, a for­mer teacher, earned a BA in Psy­chol­o­gy and an MS in Ear­ly Child­hood Edu­ca­tion from Queens Col­lege. She is the author of Daddy’s Chair (Syd­ney Tay­lor Award), The Hap­py Hack­ers, Lots Of Latkes, Still a Fam­i­ly: A Young Child’s Book About Divorce (Git­tle Hon­or­able Men­tion), and The Lit­tlest Levine (named one of the best Jew­ish Children’s Books of 2014 by Tablet Mag­a­zine). Her work has appeared in mag­a­zines as well as sev­er­al antholo­gies. When she isn’t writ­ing sto­ries or vis­it­ing schools, Ms. Lan­ton likes to cro­chet, line dance, play bridge and pick­le­ball, spend time with her grandchil­dren, and read, read, read.

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