Please join me in welcoming author Tim Shoemaker back to the blog! Today he’s talking about his new book The Second Storm and three reasons our kids need truth through fiction!
THE SECOND STORM by Tim Shoemaker
SERIES: High Water #4
GENRE: Tween/Teen Suspense (Christian)
PUBLISHER: Focus on the Family
RELEASE DATE: November 7, 2023
The Second Storm is the fourth book in the High Water series. It blends contemporary mystery and suspense, dramatic situations, and high adventure that readers 12 years old and older will love.
A Category 5 hurricane is heading for southern Florida, and Parker Buckman’s friend Wilson Stillwaters is caught in its crosshairs. It’s going to be bad, and Wilson will need help. But that means going back to the Everglades—a place filled with some bad memories.
Angelica will do anything she can to get her friend Parker back home safely. What she doesn’t realize is the real threat—the second storm—is threatening to be far more deadly for Parker and his friends than the hurricane. The storm has allowed Clayton Kingman to escape from prison, and he has a big surprise in store for the group, one he intends to deliver personally.
An even bigger storm is brewing . . . and there’s no way to stop it.
Other Books in This Series
Three Reasons Our Kids Need Truth—through Fiction
by Tim Shoemaker, author of The Second Storm
Here’s a troubling fact: Our kids can read textbooks or listen to sermons and remain unaffected. Knowing the truth about right and wrong often isn’t enough to impact their choices or behavior. But you already knew that. Did you know that often there’s a better way to get our kids to take the truth to heart? Give them truth—through a story.
“It was my favorite book in the whole world. I feel so happy that I might throw up!” This is my favorite line from a letter I received a couple years ago from a middle grade student. Okay, I loved her flair for the dramatic, but it illustrates a great point. Fiction impacts readers in powerful ways that non-fiction never can. This is especially true for our kids.
Why is that?
Non-fiction enters through the head—and often stays there. It’s a total brain thing. Our kids can ingest textbook knowledge without it changing how they live.
But stories enter through the heart. Our kids resonate with the desires, wants, and needs of the characters. In a very real sense, our kids experience stories right alongside the characters in the book. The things our kids experience through that story translate into wisdom.
- They see the consequences of careless words, bad choices, hidden sin . . . and resolve in their hearts not to make the same missteps.
- They feel a character’s pain . . . and become more sensitive to the hurting.
- They cheer on characters to attain goals . . . and become more dedicated to reach for the mission God is giving them.
- They see redemption is possible . . . even for the most messed-up person.
- They learn that what a character wants often differs from what they really need. And that realization transfers to their own lives.
- They see that even when all hope is lost . . . God often makes a way.
Stories are powerful. They hold a reader’s attention . . . and their heart. Many times, they cause readers to see life, others, and even themselves differently.
If you really need to impress your kids with truth, don’t settle for just giving them the facts. There’s a more powerful way. Give them a great story. Think I’m exaggerating a bit? Let me prove it to you.
Remember the story in 2 Samuel 11–12 where King David took another man’s wife and then had her husband killed? David continued to function almost as if nothing had happened. In his head, he knew what he did was wrong. The truth hadn’t fully impacted his heart, though.
Now David had read Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. He wrote a ton of psalms. He knew the law. He knew the truth. But knowing right and wrong wasn’t enough. He hadn’t wholeheartedly repented—which was not a good thing, especially for a king often referred to as a “man after God’s own heart.”
But God had a plan to turn David around. God sent the prophet Nathan to David—not with a lecture of what the law said but with a story.
Nathan told King David about two men. One had a little lamb that he loved. He’d cared for the thing like a favorite pet. He even let the lamb sleep in his bed. The other man was rich—and had lots of sheep. When a visitor showed up at the rich man’s house, he wanted to give his guest a great meal. But instead of using one of his many sheep, he took and slaughtered the poor man’s lamb.
David was livid. He ordered the rich man to pay dearly for what he’d done. And then Nathan uttered those famous words: “You are the man.”
The truth ripped David’s heart right open. As a result of this, he wrote Psalm 51, which starts with this explanation: A psalm of David. When the prophet Nathan came to him after David had committed adultery with Bathsheba.
Scan that famous psalm and you’ll recognize one of the most heartfelt confessions ever written.
“Create in me a pure heart, O God . . .” (Psalm 51:10, NIV).
All the truth and facts of Scripture couldn’t move King David. But a story did. Here’s three reasons why.
Stories Resonate. When I write non-fiction, my objective is to appeal to your logic center. I’m hoping to persuade you so the truth will move from your head to your heart. Once truth is in your heart, it becomes part of you. You’re more likely to react. When I’m writing fiction, I don’t worry about the truth of the story going from your head to your heart. It’s already there. If you’re reading past chapter one, something about the story resonates with you. It strikes a chord. There is an emotional connection. And as the truth is revealed in a story, your heart is impacted.
Stories Prompt Reactions. When a story moves us, it causes us to reflect on our own lives—and often we make changes. When we read a story about someone who lost a family member before telling them how much they really loved and appreciated them, we’re likely going to make sure that doesn’t happen to us. We’ll have those conversations—and soon.
Stories Are Remembered. We don’t forget stories that move us. We’ll read that book again. Watch that movie a second time. And scenes will replay in our heads over and over and over. Truth conveyed through a story is like that. It isn’t forgotten. We can’t forget it.
We live in a world of lies when it comes to right and wrong. We want our kids to know and embrace truth. But like we saw with King David, simply knowing the truth isn’t enough. If we want our kids to fully resonate with, react to, and remember the truth, we can’t solely rely on giving them another dose of the facts.
Let’s not underestimate the need for fiction. God designed us so that stories get right to our hearts. As he did with David, God uses stories to move us. Sometimes he uses a story to make us feel things—and change in ways we wouldn’t have otherwise.
Whether you read books to your kids or they read on their own, let’s introduce them to great, well-crafted fiction. Clean stories. Ones where parents aren’t depicted as buffoons. Stories that teach His truth in totally non-hokey ways. Don’t miss the positive effects a story can have on your kids. And the bonus? Our kids aren’t bored in the process. We can give them great truth through a story—and they’re happy about it. Sometimes they’re so happy that they just might throw up.
Tim Shoemaker is the award-winning author of the Code of Silence series and a popular speaker—especially for school assemblies. He speaks at schools, churches, homeschool conventions, and writers’ conventions, and he conducts Family Devotion Workshops all across the country. When he isn’t on the speaking and teaching circuit, he’s busy working with kids and writing more great stories! He’s the author of numerous books, including Escape from the Everglades, Easy Target, and Dangerous Devotions for Guys. His most recent book, The Second Storm, releases in November 2023 from Focus on the Family. Connect with Tim at his website.
Tyndale House is offering a print copy of The Second Storm by Tim Shoemaker to one of my readers! (US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.) This giveaway is subject to Reading Is My SuperPower’s giveaway policies which can be found here. Enter via the Rafflecopter form below.
What about you? What makes you want to read The Second Storm by Tim Shoemaker?