Isho and the First Light is an original adventure, fantasy novel by Tama Ward for kids 8-13+. As a series of three books (Gifts of Destiny, The Binding, and Beloved Country) it closely mirrors the story of Jesus from the perspective of children.
Isho (a derivative of the name “Jesus” used in the Eastern Orthodox Church) and his group of eight friends band together to overcome the sway of the Nave (the religious authority) and the power of the Empire (the state authority), and to find a way back to the Beloved Country (the Kingdom of God).
“A Chronicles of Narnia for a new generation.”
Isho and the First Light approaches the gospel story mythically. This is not to say the story of Jesus is falsified, but rather it recovers the relevance of an old story to the times and challenges in which we live. What’s more such a telling of the story of Jesus engages all the best traits of myth that are so captivating to kid’s imaginations (i.e., a multi-tiered universe, awakening to one’s full humanity, struggle with darkness, the wellbeing of earthlings etc.). This approach is in contrast to traditional Sunday School materials which, whether they intend to or not, have often had the the effect of flattening Bible stories with their moralistic or theological agendas. Kids aren’t fooled.