Rooney Cruz Review: Women of the New Testament

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.

We can't get enough of Bible stories, but my girls have noticed recently that so many of the stories we read, both from the Old Testament and the New Testament, are focused around men. There are plenty of women in the Bible, but for some reason it seems as though our children's Bible doesn't focus on their stories nearly as much. So when Truth Becomes Her sent The Adventures of Rooney Cruz RINGLEADERS along with the companion coloring book, devotional, and mother-daughter journal, my 7-year-old twins and 9-year-old were incredibly excited!

Our package arrived, and immediately all three girls divvied up the contents, promising to share with one another once they finished their chosen book. The Ringleaders book contains the stories of six women in the New Testament: Elizabeth, Mary, the Samaritan woman, Mary & Martha, the sisters of Lazarus, and Mary Magdalene. All these are juxtaposed with Rooney Cruz, a young girl guided by an angel who is teaching her about these women, and about Jesus as well. The stories are related to Rooney's current life situation, and while my girls found it unbelievable that Rooney wouldn't already know these stories, I think it's possible to suspend our disbelief a bit!

The stories don't go into a ton of detail, but the companion devotional takes things much further, with extra Scripture reading and reflection, as well as guided prayer and journaling. I think this would work best for the 7-10 age range, though I think an older girl could get a lot out of it as well. The accompanying journal for mothers and daughters is a little bit more of a blank slate, so would be nice for moms who have daughters who really enjoy writing. Mine are still not at the point where they're comfortable using writing to express themselves, so we didn't use it this time around, but the physical quality was very nice!

All the girls mentioned to me how much they loved the coloring book, especially the fact that each picture was a replica of one in the book, so they could go back and try to use the same colors to color it themselves if they wanted to. The pages are thicker than normal coloring book pages, and single-sided so they can be torn out and displayed without losing whichever picture is on the other side.

All three of my girls read (and re-read!) the book, and talked frequently about how much they loved the illustrations! I found a couple of them emulating the drawing style in their own art, and they though that the eyes of the characters were especially beautiful. I appreciated that the characters were a fairly diverse crew, and the appearances of the New Testament women weren't white-washed the way they can be in some illustrations. I wasn't a huge fan of the depiction of Rooney's "angel" who was teaching her through these stories, but I think it was intended as a storytelling tool more than an accurate depiction of angels.

While this book is written from a Protestant perspective, I didn't see any red flags that would mean I wouldn't recommend it to Catholics - Rooney prays a "sinner's prayer" at the end and the angel talks about confessing sins directly to God, but it's easy enough to explain to confused children that we confess our sins to God through a priest. The Bible translation used in the books wasn't a Catholic one either, but if someone cared, they could cross-reference the verses in a Catholic translation. Certainly nothing problematic in any of the verses, it's just not the translation we're used to hearing.

My girls really enjoyed these books, and I think they would make a really sweet Christmas gift for a Christian girl between the ages of seven and ten. This is the sequel to another Rooney Cruz series, in which she learns about women of the Old Testament, so you've got lots of gift options for sure!

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