The hidden village is a Christian fictional story written by author Bonnie Rose Hudson. This book is about a tenacious boy named Manju living deep in the forests of West Bengal, India. Manju providentially discovers a destitute and illiterate people in a hidden village. Manju leads the way in restoring this village spiritually, mentally and physically!
Manju begins walking us through how special mangrove trees are in his life. He also discusses his relationship with Pastor Dandak who gave him his first Bible. Manju finds his favorite story in the bible: Zacchaeus and the sycamore tree.
As he climbs onto the heavy mangrove branches, he spots something that stops him in his tracks. He sees a small curl of smoke rise into the air from an opening from the treetops!
He races with each step, as it gets thicker, wetter and hotter. Just when he feels lost, a barbet comes to the rescue and Manju follows the bird. As he keeps a close eye on the bird, the trees become sparse and that’s when he gets a surprise. He finds a Hidden Village!
Manju discusses his first encounter with the village people. The people look cold, malnourished, and their homes are falling apart. As Manju runs home to tell his family about this exciting discovery, no one believes him!
The next day, Manju’s family business of selling dried jute fibers begins. The first step starts with cutting down jute plants and soaking them for several days, up to a month. During the soaking period, this is a break for his entire family. Manju takes advantage of this time by making a great impact on the hidden village. He asks God to reveal the right path.
Throughout the book, you’ll find hidden treasures of God leading Manju through His word and prayer. As he takes food and essential items to the village each day, he begins to build trust with four village people. He finds work to help buy things for them and even a warm blanket for a cold, crabby boy!
On the last day of free time, Manju finds a rat eating food intended for the hidden village people. Not discouraged, he replaces the food with a bible and heads to the village. The Bible gives him an opportunity they won’t forget!
At the end of the book, the author includes a map, hints of Manju's culture, and types of animals native to this area. She also includes a pronunciation guide for the character’s names.
Lastly, a small list of questions is included in the back of the book. These questions may be used to prompt children into contemplating how they can also make an impact on other’s lives!
This story is a heart warmer and a perfect example of what child-like faith is! As an adult, I enjoyed reading it myself as it reminded me of the inspiring missionary stories I've read over the years.
We can learn a lot from children. The Bible says to come to Him as little children. That what Manju was doing. He went straight to God and didn’t worry about what others thought. He kept doing the right thing, praying and telling the hidden village people about God. Now that's motivational and convicting!
The author Bonnie Rose Hudson intended this book to be for ages 6 and 7. But, it can be incorporated into a small lesson plan for older children.
As a homeschooling mom, I put the book through a series of my own tests. My son, age 11, is an avid reader and enjoyed the book in one sitting. It took him about 30 minutes to finish. I created a quiz for him in Google Forms and he easily recalled the material.
My daughter, 12, had a smile on her face when she finished the story. She informed me that the front cover helped her visualize how far the hidden village was from where Manju discovered it.
I also pulled out a globe to show where Manju lived and asked how we can be more like Manju. There are plenty of hidden villages right here in the United States! Many people here may have food on their plates, but they are starving spiritually!
As a homeschool teacher, this is another great resource to add to my collection. I would highly recommend the hidden village for younger children as a read-aloud. For older independent readers, this book would also make a great small unit study.
If you are interested, as a bonus, feel free to download my 22-question quiz clicking the link below!
Please let me know if you have any questions about the hidden village in the comments section.
One last thing...if you would like a chance to win a free copy of the hidden village, enter the giveaway above. Hurry, it closes after 12/11/20217! Many blessing to you!
Bonnie Rose Hudson’s heart’s desire is for every child to feel the love of God and know how special they are to Him. She works as the Director of SchoolhouseTeachers.com, the curriculum site of The Old Schoolhouse Magazine®. She would love for you to explore the wonderful curriculum available there and to stop by her author’s blog WriteBonnieRose.com for resources to help teach your children about missions and the persecuted Church, free history and writing printables, discover how you can write for the homeschool market, and check out her newest release from JourneyForth, The Hidden Village, an early reader sent in India.