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The Jericho River

The Jericho River


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In The Jericho River, Jason Gallo travels in the Fore, a world shaped by myth and history, in order to find his father. Connecting all time periods and regions chronologically within the Fore is the Jericho River, a sort of timeline. Tollen introduces the reader to a wide variety of cultures through time and space in a fluid and smooth manner. As such, I highly recommend The Jericho River by David Tollen for educators and students interested in an engaging presentation of history.

As Jason Gallo travels in the Fore down the Jericho River, he looks for his missing father in places like Sumer, Egypt, Greece, Rome, and France. Through the descriptions of the various places and times in history, along with dialogue throughout the book, the reader is presented with a vivid picture of the major civilizations throughout world history and their respective cultures. Moreover, Tollen is careful to slowly unveil the mysterious forces working against Jason, conflicted friends of Jason, and Jason's backstory, resulting in an engaging and entertaining book with unexpected twists and turns.

Additionally, each chapter has an introduction to the particular region in which Jason travels, along with notes scattered throughout, commenting on certain aspects of that culture. These include things like a short note on what Sumerians thought about Amorites, the Hebrew understanding of monotheism, and the Greek Colossus of Rhodes. Notably, though, such comments are sometimes making more explicit what is already clear through the narrative discourse. In doing so, the reader unknowingly learns a great deal about ancient history, with the short note sections as supplements and clarifications.

The reader is presented with a vivid picture of the major civilizations throughout world history & their respective cultures.

The Jericho River includes some helpful education tools. First, for educators using the books or for readers unsure of locations, the maps are particularly helpful. Second, the book includes a timeline of all the event in the story, another helpful tool for educators. Third, and most impressively, Tollen included a variety of questions for each chapter. These questions could be leveraged by educators to help students think more critically about the book and use the book as a starting point for a more in-depth examination of certain points in history.

In conclusion, I was thoroughly impressed by David Tollen’s The Jericho River, particularly because I primarily read non-fiction books. Even so, I was impressed by the fluid and smooth manner in which Tollen introduces the reader to a wide variety of cultures through time and space. Moreover, his ability to work comparisons of the respective cultures into the narrative is particularly valuable, as it illustrates both the uniqueness and similarities throughout cultures in world history. Undoubtedly, this book would be a great starting point for Social Studies educators looking to approach their curriculum in a way that does not begin with a textbook but instead with an engaging work of historical fiction. That is to say, I highly recommend The Jericho River by David Tollen for educators and students interested in an engaging presentation of history.


Jericho and Jesus

Jericho was one of the places that Jesus made a point to visit on his trips to Jerusalem. His last journey to the region before his trial and execution was no different.

Jericho is about 15 miles northeast of Jerusalem near the Jordan River. It’s known as one of the oldest inhabited cities in the world. It’s also the first city that the Israelites conquered when they arrived in Canaan after their escape from Egypt some 1,400 years earlier.

Today, Jericho is located within the Palestinian territory known as the West Bank. The city’s current population is about 20,000, and the ruins of the ancient city lie among modern houses and hotels. There is even a gondola ride, right through the center of it all.

Jericho and JesusBartimaeus the Blind Beggar

At the time of Jesus, Jericho was known as an oasis city. In fact, Herod the Great built his winter palace near here because of its warm climate and fresh water springs. The Bible describes Jericho as the “City of Palm Trees.”

Since Jericho catered to the rich and powerful during the time of Jesus, homeless outcasts often lined the roads in and out of town because it was a good place to encounter the well-to-do traders and political elites.

The Gospel of Luke tells us:

As Jesus drew near to Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging. And hearing a crowd going by, he inquired what this meant. They told him, “Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.” And he cried out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”
Jesus stopped. “What do you want me to do for you?”
The blind beggar said, “Lord, let me recover my sight.”
And Jesus said to him, “Recover your sight your faith has made you well.”
And immediately he recovered his sight and followed him, glorifying God. And all the people, when they saw it, gave praise to God. (Luke 18:35-43)


The Jericho River: An Adventure Through History and a Tool for Teachers Paperback – Illustrated, 27 April 2018

The Jericho River is a delightful, mystical romp through World History. Beginning with ancient Sumer and progressing rapidly to modern times, it is a useful gateway book which . should encourage [young readers] to look deeper into the past and ultimately to assume the challenges of more traditional sources. The regular inclusions of excerpts from the lectures of William Gallo add to this appeal and are stimulating and thought provoking. . [A] valuable tool for teachers and students in their continuing quest to study the past. -- Philip Bigler, 1998 National Teacher of the Year

An inherently fascinating and absorbing novel . [H]ighly recommended. -- Midwest Book Review

The cast of characters in The Jericho River is huge, the canvas of history is enormous and the tale telling is ambitious. Many young people and adults would gain a great deal from reading Jericho River. The lecture notes interspersed throughout the text are very enjoyable and hold many nuggets of really entertaining and thought-provoking facts and opinions. Discourses range from thoughts on cherubs and bare back riding in the Bronze Age to the conversion of the Khazars to Judaism in the Dark Ages. It all seems to hang together and the wide range of ideas seem to sit happily side by side in this erudite and entertaining work. -- Graham Peacock, M.Ed, Principal Lecturer in Education, Sheffield Hallam University author of The Oxford Primary Science Dictionary, Primary Science, and other works

Wow. Just, wow. -- Amazon Top 500 Reviewer, 5-star review

With historical excerpts woven throughout this story of myths and fantasy, I was intrigued from the beginning to the end. I wanted to go trekking along with Jason Gallo on his marvelous adventures as he met interesting characters along the way while also learning more about his father and himself. Hence, not only was this book wonderfully entertaining it was also a fabulous way to interest young people to learn more about the past, present, and possibly the future. -- Merwyden Suluai, 2010 American Samoa Teacher of the Year Master Teacher Trainer, University of Hawaii

I was learning new information and being thoroughly entertained with the action all at the same time. . The historical situations were so engaging and action-packed, I would have enjoyed even more of this book it was very well written and enjoyable. -- ZoeDessoye1, teen blogger at LitPick.com

The Jericho River is an intriguing and fun way to learn history. Historical novels have often been a vehicle for this, but often they distort history. On the other hand, The Jericho River is a carefully researched and very accurate journey through Western Civilization that will appeal not only to the teenage audience but to adults as well. You can trust the accuracy of detail and depth of interpretation, and at the same time you learn history in an exciting manner and with an entertaining read. -- Robert J. Littman, M.Litt., Ph.D., Professor of Classics, University of Hawaii author of The Greek Experiment and other works

[Tollen] weaves historical information into this fast paced adventure, making learning about history fun for any reader. As an educator, I recommend The Jericho River for anyone looking to enhance an ancient civilization curriculum. -- Pamela Pizzimenti, teacher and author of The River Whispers


  • Editorial &rlm : &lrm Winifred Press (1 julio 2012)
  • Idioma &rlm : &lrm Inglés
  • Pasta blanda &rlm : &lrm 358 páginas
  • ISBN-10 &rlm : &lrm 098545170X
  • ISBN-13 &rlm : &lrm 978-0985451707
  • Dimensiones &rlm : &lrm 13.97 x 2.06 x 21.59 cm

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This book seems to me like it would make more sense as an educational computer game than as a book. It definitely reminds me of some computer games I've played, such as "Where in Time is Carmen Sandiego." I loved that kind of game as a kid, but most of the appeal was in the problem solving and interactive elements that novels don't have.

The thing that bothered me the most was how contrived some elements of the plot were. There had to be a chapter for each civilization which meant that there had to be some sort of event for each civilization. Many of these events just kind of happened out of the blue, got resolved fast, and didn't have any particular impact on the main arc of the story. That was fine for a while, but then it got tedious. It's one of those things you expect out of an educational computer game but not out of a novel. A chapter per civilization is good for teaching the progression of history, but it just wasn't that great for creating an entertaining novel.

There are several times when a close relationship between two characters becomes a plot point but the book never showed these characters as being close. Like, there's an obligatory het romance that doesn't make sense unless you just assume that any time a story has one man and one woman of the same age they must end up together. Additionally the relationship between Jason and Zidu is supposed to be close but you never see them interacting the way people who are close to each other interact.

As far as the historical information is concerned, it's mostly stuff I learned in middle school and high school. The reading level and complexity is at about that level too. There's some miscellaneous swear words, a small amount of violence that the main character reacts to with an appropriate level of disapproval, some mentions of sex, and an attempted rape that doesn't get very far. So those are the relevant content warnings for young people. I would have read it in middle school and I generally disapprove of restricting what teenagers read, but there you go.

So basically, if you're a teenager wanting something to help you learn and remember history, this might be a book you'd like. If you're an adult looking for a good book to read for entertainment, there's probably something else out there you'd prefer. I kind of wish the description had mentioned that this is YA.


The Jericho River: An Adventure Through History and a Tool for Teachers Paperback – Import, 27 April 2018

The Jericho River is a delightful, mystical romp through World History. Beginning with ancient Sumer and progressing rapidly to modern times, it is a useful gateway book which . should encourage [young readers] to look deeper into the past and ultimately to assume the challenges of more traditional sources. The regular inclusions of excerpts from the lectures of William Gallo add to this appeal and are stimulating and thought provoking. . [A] valuable tool for teachers and students in their continuing quest to study the past. -- Philip Bigler, 1998 National Teacher of the Year

An inherently fascinating and absorbing novel . [H]ighly recommended. -- Midwest Book Review

The cast of characters in The Jericho River is huge, the canvas of history is enormous and the tale telling is ambitious. Many young people and adults would gain a great deal from reading Jericho River. The lecture notes interspersed throughout the text are very enjoyable and hold many nuggets of really entertaining and thought-provoking facts and opinions. Discourses range from thoughts on cherubs and bare back riding in the Bronze Age to the conversion of the Khazars to Judaism in the Dark Ages. It all seems to hang together and the wide range of ideas seem to sit happily side by side in this erudite and entertaining work. -- Graham Peacock, M.Ed, Principal Lecturer in Education, Sheffield Hallam University author of The Oxford Primary Science Dictionary, Primary Science, and other works

Wow. Just, wow. -- Amazon Top 500 Reviewer, 5-star review

With historical excerpts woven throughout this story of myths and fantasy, I was intrigued from the beginning to the end. I wanted to go trekking along with Jason Gallo on his marvelous adventures as he met interesting characters along the way while also learning more about his father and himself. Hence, not only was this book wonderfully entertaining it was also a fabulous way to interest young people to learn more about the past, present, and possibly the future. -- Merwyden Suluai, 2010 American Samoa Teacher of the Year Master Teacher Trainer, University of Hawaii

I was learning new information and being thoroughly entertained with the action all at the same time. . The historical situations were so engaging and action-packed, I would have enjoyed even more of this book it was very well written and enjoyable. -- ZoeDessoye1, teen blogger at LitPick.com

The Jericho River is an intriguing and fun way to learn history. Historical novels have often been a vehicle for this, but often they distort history. On the other hand, The Jericho River is a carefully researched and very accurate journey through Western Civilization that will appeal not only to the teenage audience but to adults as well. You can trust the accuracy of detail and depth of interpretation, and at the same time you learn history in an exciting manner and with an entertaining read. -- Robert J. Littman, M.Litt., Ph.D., Professor of Classics, University of Hawaii author of The Greek Experiment and other works

[Tollen] weaves historical information into this fast paced adventure, making learning about history fun for any reader. As an educator, I recommend The Jericho River for anyone looking to enhance an ancient civilization curriculum. -- Pamela Pizzimenti, teacher and author of The River Whispers


  • Publisher &rlm : &lrm Winifred Press (16 July 2012)
  • Language &rlm : &lrm English
  • Paperback &rlm : &lrm 358 pages
  • ISBN-10 &rlm : &lrm 098545170X
  • ISBN-13 &rlm : &lrm 978-0985451707
  • Dimensions &rlm : &lrm 13.97 x 2.06 x 21.59 cm

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Top reviews from other countries

This book seems to me like it would make more sense as an educational computer game than as a book. It definitely reminds me of some computer games I've played, such as "Where in Time is Carmen Sandiego." I loved that kind of game as a kid, but most of the appeal was in the problem solving and interactive elements that novels don't have.

The thing that bothered me the most was how contrived some elements of the plot were. There had to be a chapter for each civilization which meant that there had to be some sort of event for each civilization. Many of these events just kind of happened out of the blue, got resolved fast, and didn't have any particular impact on the main arc of the story. That was fine for a while, but then it got tedious. It's one of those things you expect out of an educational computer game but not out of a novel. A chapter per civilization is good for teaching the progression of history, but it just wasn't that great for creating an entertaining novel.

There are several times when a close relationship between two characters becomes a plot point but the book never showed these characters as being close. Like, there's an obligatory het romance that doesn't make sense unless you just assume that any time a story has one man and one woman of the same age they must end up together. Additionally the relationship between Jason and Zidu is supposed to be close but you never see them interacting the way people who are close to each other interact.

As far as the historical information is concerned, it's mostly stuff I learned in middle school and high school. The reading level and complexity is at about that level too. There's some miscellaneous swear words, a small amount of violence that the main character reacts to with an appropriate level of disapproval, some mentions of sex, and an attempted rape that doesn't get very far. So those are the relevant content warnings for young people. I would have read it in middle school and I generally disapprove of restricting what teenagers read, but there you go.

So basically, if you're a teenager wanting something to help you learn and remember history, this might be a book you'd like. If you're an adult looking for a good book to read for entertainment, there's probably something else out there you'd prefer. I kind of wish the description had mentioned that this is YA.


How Wide and Deep Was The Jordan River?

The Jordan River flows about 60 miles between the Sea of Galilee to the Dead Sea. The river drops 610 feet down to nearly 1,300 feet.[2] Since Joshua 3:15 indicates that the Jordan River was overflowing its banks due to the harvest season, this means the flood waters would have greatly complicated Israel’s crossing as explained by Richard S. Hess and Todd Bolen. Richard S. Hess states that the Jordan River was wider than the normal 90-100 feet at the place Israel crossed the Jordan River.

The text explains that this event took place a great distance away south of the town of Adam (v. 16). The time was in the spring of the year, when the river is in its flood stage and therefore wider than its normal width of 90-100 feet and deeper than its average 3-10 feet. The southern flow of the Jordan is turbulent. The ez-Zor surrounds it. This is a thicket that makes the river itself difficult to reach, and that in ancient times contained wild animals.[3]

Todd Bolen, author of BiblicalPlaces.com, writes the following:

In 1854 an expert swimmer was unable to make it across the river near Jericho because the river was too wide and the current too strong.[4]

How wide was the Jordan River when the Israelites crossed the river? We do not know since the book of Joshua does not tell us. The depth of the river was probably deeper since sediment would have moved down the river since the time Israel crossed the river. The crossing of a turbulent river at flood stage would have been difficult and was most likely greater than 100 feet wide and greater than ten feet deep.


The Jericho River: An Adventure Through History and a Tool for Teachers Paperback – Geïllustreerd, 27 april 2018

The Jericho River is a delightful, mystical romp through World History. Beginning with ancient Sumer and progressing rapidly to modern times, it is a useful gateway book which . should encourage [young readers] to look deeper into the past and ultimately to assume the challenges of more traditional sources. The regular inclusions of excerpts from the lectures of William Gallo add to this appeal and are stimulating and thought provoking. . [A] valuable tool for teachers and students in their continuing quest to study the past. -- Philip Bigler, 1998 National Teacher of the Year

An inherently fascinating and absorbing novel . [H]ighly recommended. -- Midwest Book Review

The cast of characters in The Jericho River is huge, the canvas of history is enormous and the tale telling is ambitious. Many young people and adults would gain a great deal from reading Jericho River. The lecture notes interspersed throughout the text are very enjoyable and hold many nuggets of really entertaining and thought-provoking facts and opinions. Discourses range from thoughts on cherubs and bare back riding in the Bronze Age to the conversion of the Khazars to Judaism in the Dark Ages. It all seems to hang together and the wide range of ideas seem to sit happily side by side in this erudite and entertaining work. -- Graham Peacock, M.Ed, Principal Lecturer in Education, Sheffield Hallam University author of The Oxford Primary Science Dictionary, Primary Science, and other works

Wow. Just, wow. -- Amazon Top 500 Reviewer, 5-star review

With historical excerpts woven throughout this story of myths and fantasy, I was intrigued from the beginning to the end. I wanted to go trekking along with Jason Gallo on his marvelous adventures as he met interesting characters along the way while also learning more about his father and himself. Hence, not only was this book wonderfully entertaining it was also a fabulous way to interest young people to learn more about the past, present, and possibly the future. -- Merwyden Suluai, 2010 American Samoa Teacher of the Year Master Teacher Trainer, University of Hawaii

I was learning new information and being thoroughly entertained with the action all at the same time. . The historical situations were so engaging and action-packed, I would have enjoyed even more of this book it was very well written and enjoyable. -- ZoeDessoye1, teen blogger at LitPick.com

The Jericho River is an intriguing and fun way to learn history. Historical novels have often been a vehicle for this, but often they distort history. On the other hand, The Jericho River is a carefully researched and very accurate journey through Western Civilization that will appeal not only to the teenage audience but to adults as well. You can trust the accuracy of detail and depth of interpretation, and at the same time you learn history in an exciting manner and with an entertaining read. -- Robert J. Littman, M.Litt., Ph.D., Professor of Classics, University of Hawaii author of The Greek Experiment and other works

[Tollen] weaves historical information into this fast paced adventure, making learning about history fun for any reader. As an educator, I recommend The Jericho River for anyone looking to enhance an ancient civilization curriculum. -- Pamela Pizzimenti, teacher and author of The River Whispers


Review

The Jericho River is a delightful, mystical romp through World History. Beginning with ancient Sumer and progressing rapidly to modern times, it is a useful gateway book which . should encourage [young readers] to look deeper into the past and ultimately to assume the challenges of more traditional sources. The regular inclusions of excerpts from the lectures of William Gallo add to this appeal and are stimulating and thought provoking. . [A] valuable tool for teachers and students in their continuing quest to study the past. -- Philip Bigler, 1998 National Teacher of the Year

An inherently fascinating and absorbing novel . [H]ighly recommended. -- Midwest Book Review

The cast of characters in The Jericho River is huge, the canvas of history is enormous and the tale telling is ambitious. Many young people and adults would gain a great deal from reading Jericho River. The lecture notes interspersed throughout the text are very enjoyable and hold many nuggets of really entertaining and thought-provoking facts and opinions. Discourses range from thoughts on cherubs and bare back riding in the Bronze Age to the conversion of the Khazars to Judaism in the Dark Ages. It all seems to hang together and the wide range of ideas seem to sit happily side by side in this erudite and entertaining work. -- Graham Peacock, M.Ed, Principal Lecturer in Education, Sheffield Hallam University author of The Oxford Primary Science Dictionary, Primary Science, and other works

Wow. Just, wow. -- Amazon Top 500 Reviewer, 5-star review

With historical excerpts woven throughout this story of myths and fantasy, I was intrigued from the beginning to the end. I wanted to go trekking along with Jason Gallo on his marvelous adventures as he met interesting characters along the way while also learning more about his father and himself. Hence, not only was this book wonderfully entertaining it was also a fabulous way to interest young people to learn more about the past, present, and possibly the future. -- Merwyden Suluai, 2010 American Samoa Teacher of the Year Master Teacher Trainer, University of Hawaii

I was learning new information and being thoroughly entertained with the action all at the same time. . The historical situations were so engaging and action-packed, I would have enjoyed even more of this book it was very well written and enjoyable. -- ZoeDessoye1, teen blogger at LitPick.com

The Jericho River is an intriguing and fun way to learn history. Historical novels have often been a vehicle for this, but often they distort history. On the other hand, The Jericho River is a carefully researched and very accurate journey through Western Civilization that will appeal not only to the teenage audience but to adults as well. You can trust the accuracy of detail and depth of interpretation, and at the same time you learn history in an exciting manner and with an entertaining read. -- Robert J. Littman, M.Litt., Ph.D., Professor of Classics, University of Hawaii author of The Greek Experiment and other works

[Tollen] weaves historical information into this fast paced adventure, making learning about history fun for any reader. As an educator, I recommend The Jericho River for anyone looking to enhance an ancient civilization curriculum. -- Pamela Pizzimenti, teacher and author of The River Whispers


My book, The Jericho River, has a beautiful new cover. Romanian artist Andrei Bat has created an image that truly (finally) captures the book’s spirit.

The Jericho River is a novel that uses fantasy to teach the entire history of Western Civilization. It’s won multiple awards, including first place at the London Book Festival and the Next Generation Indie Book Awards. It’s a light, easy way to learn and a unique mind-game, as well as a story about family, adventure, and history. Continue reading “Beautiful New Cover for The Jericho River” &rarr


Watch the video: 11 Road from Jericho to Jerusalem from the Air - דרך יריחו - ירושליים (July 2022).


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