Name of Book: Hanne’s Quest
Author: Olivier Dunrea
Audience: Ages 7 to 10
Summary: Mem lives on a farm with her beloved speckled hens. When she receives a bill for back taxes, she confides to the animals that she will lose the farm. The hens secretly confer and learn, to their astonishment that one of their number, young Hanne, will be able to lay golden eggs if she has the courage to complete an ancient rhyme. Hanne does not know if she is up to the task, but she sets out to try as it is the only way to save the farm and her friends.
Literary elements at work in the story: The magical elements and the quest provide a good structure for children moving from folklore to fantasy tales. Beautifully composed and often darkly atmospheric, the paintings add to the wonder of the story.
How does the perspective on gender/race/culture/economics/ability make a difference to the story: Hanne is a good female hero role model showing compassion and courage. The concern for the animals and their home is something many can, unfortunately, relate to making this a timely choice.
Scripture: James 1:12
Theology: Hanne knows what this passage says, that trials are part of life. Our trials may not as dramatic as Hanne’s but they are ones that will nonetheless test us. Hanne did not have to face her trials alone. She had magical help. Thanks be to God that we do not need magic or self help books or otherworldly help. We have something so much better. We have God’s promise to always be there to help us through our trials. Love God, feel and look for God’s help and you will never be alone when trials come.
Faith Talk Questions:
- How did Hanne overcome her trials?
- Would you have gone on Hanne’s quest?
- Have you ever faced a hard time?
- How did you overcome it?
- How could you help someone who is having a hard time?
- God has promised that God will always be there for us. Is it hard to “see” and “feel” God when we are having a hard time?
- How can we get better at trusting in God’s promise?
Review prepared by guest blogger Janet Lloyd