Jotham's Journey: A Storybook for Advent

Posted by Naomi Vacaro on

A Journey from Palestine to Bethlehem
By Christi Grimm

Life is a journey. It is full of ups and downs—and sideways. While the journey can be beautiful, at times it can also feel unbearable. Even in fiction, we can relate to another’s life story and find comfort, encouragement, and inspiration. This is what happened when I first read Jotham’s Journey to my children.

Jotham, a ten-year-old boy growing up in Palestine during biblical times, gets separated from his family and his path takes dangerous and surprising turns. From the first page, we are transported into his life and his adventures. We face the very real dangers of ancient times and share his feelings of abandonment, fear, and courage.

Fifteen years ago, I picked up this book for the first time and it continues to impact my life today. It will forever be on my bookshelf waiting for the next time I choose to journey with Jotham. 

My family waits anxiously to discover what comes next on Jotham’s Journey, which is designed to take you through the Advent season. From the older adult children to the seven-year-old, we are each drawn in and excited to read the next portion of this story. On each day of Advent, a portion of Jotham’s adventures is revealed. Following the story, there is a short explanation that ties Jotham’s life to our own lives. The day’s reading concludes with a portion of Scripture which eventually leads us to the Babe in a manger. In just 10-15 minutes per day, we experience the adventures of Jotham, reflection for our own lives, and connect them both with the Word of God.

Written in 1996, Arnold Ytreeide has done a beautiful job authoring a book with depth for the older reader and excitement for the younger listener. Ytreeide wrote three more Advent books which intertwine with Jotham’s story.  Together, these stories create a four-year rotation that will become one of your family’s most beloved traditions at Christmas time.

What I love about this book:

  1. The richness of the subject matter. It is simple yet full!
  2. The ability to hold the attention of a varying audience.
  3. Its brevity in each day’s readings.
  4. The way it transports me into ancient day Palestine.
  5. The bridge it creates of Jesus’ birth and my own life.

Will Jotham find what he’s searching for? The search can only be fulfilled in the greatest gift of all time. Whether you choose to read solo or aloud with your family, I am confident you will walk away with a love for Jotham’s character and the journey he takes you on. 

Ytreeide, Arnold. Jotham’s Journey. Kregel Publications, 1996.


  About Christi: Christi was born and raised in sunny central Florida where she still resides!  Along with her husband, Christi keeps busy raising their children, traveling, and homeschooling. She is passionate about being a life-long learner, building relationships, and bringing God’s freedom to women through small retreats.  You can find out more about her ministry at
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