Stripped Clean

 

Down to Nothing but the Cross

 

by Storm

 

Group Publishing

 

Reader Appeal: Teens and College Students

 

Genre: Devotional

 

Just a warning—when you finish this book it will no longer exist.

 

Stripped Clean is a fun new interactive devotional (more on that in a moment) for teens and young adults. The content is built around one of the most unusual and interesting books of the Bible—Ecclesiastes. Like that book, this devotional is all about looking deeply at what is most important in life and stripping away all the distractions that we find ourselves tangled up in. Even though Ecclesiastes was written by someone looking back over his life, the point was to pass on what the author had learned to young people. Ecclesiastes, as dark and as philosophical as it sometimes gets, is the original youth devotional, written as a kind of journal by someone who has been there and seen it all.

 

So what is an interactive devotional? Well, I’m just making the term up, because I’ve only seen one other book like this one before. It’s a book that you don’t just read; you interact with it.

 

You tear out pages and give them to people, you turn pages into bookmarks, you photograph them with your cell phone, you tear them up and turn them into compost, you wad them into balls, you flush them down the toilet. Each section has an object lesson or activity built into it that involves tearing out the pages and doing something with them.

 

It’s a fun and different way to do things, and it does help get across the main message of the book. In the end, your book itself will be Stripped Clean.

 

The activities and lessons here are generally pretty fun, and if you like practical activities (instead of just pondering things in your brain), you’ll like this study. The style is very casual and readable and there is certainly no shortage of relevant material in the passages from Ecclesiastes that the author has you read. Solomon (the author of Ecclesiastes) admits that he’s chased and tasted every pleasure under the sun: wealth, fame, power, knowledge, sex. Even though the study is aimed at youth, the rest of us can hardly argue that we aren’t still distracted and attracted by these things. So really, it’s good for readers of any age.

 

All in all, Stripped Clean a neat little book; innovative, fun to read, full of good content and questions, and packed with object lessons that help to make the lessons memorable.

 

Plus, you’ve gotta love a book written by someone whose name sounds like he’s related to members of the Fantastic Four. Way to go Storm!

 

PopFam RATING: A

 

--MV

 

Note: All book or comics-related graphics in this column are standard publicity/promotional shots and are owned by their respective publisher.

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