Travel to Jerusalem 2000 years ago

Posted 11/24/09

Claudia Cangilla McAdam’s Web site says she’s been writing for three decades — authoring a dozen books and numerous magazine and newspaper …

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Travel to Jerusalem 2000 years ago


Claudia Cangilla McAdam’s Web site says she’s been writing for three decades — authoring a dozen books and numerous magazine and newspaper articles and stories. Her most recent book, “Awakening,” tells of a 14-year-old girl’s time travel back to Jerusalem of 2000 years ago, when Jesus was in the community and teaching.

The writer says she’s had the idea in her mind for a number of years.

“I work every day and always have books and manuscripts out to publishers.”

In 2006, with a story idea fleshed out, she and her family traveled to the Holy Land, where she walked through Biblical sites, such as the ancient Hezekiah’s tunnel, used as an escape route in the story. Her vivid images of how the city looked, sounded, smelled in historic times adds greatly to what she calls “fantastic reality” in her tale (versus fantasy realism). The first draft was completed in 2007.

There are occasional references to Frank Baum’s classic “Wizard of Oz” and some parallels in structure — including the life lessons part: girl is transported to another world, populated by a version of characters who are in her present-day world. She is awakened to what’s really important.

Catholic American teen Ronnie/Veronica, who has problems with her parents and is not very interested in her faith life, becomes ill and awakes transported into the body of a Jewish girl, Serephina, in early Jerusalem, one who knows what the future holds for Jesus. Should she/could she try to stop it? She is in the Upper Room at the Last Supper, with the disciples, yet has the scriptural writings about the scene and people which came later, in her mind. Interesting dilemma.

McAdam’s deep Catholic faith has led her to to new scholarly pursuits, which supported the challenge of creating this book. She has enrolled in a master’s degree program in Biblical Theology at the Augustine Institute, a fairly new Catholic graduate program, that offers on-site classes, as well as distance learning for teachers and scholars.

“I’m on the four-year plan,” she says happily — one class at a time.

She is writing, attending Mass daily, teaching a quarterly poetry writing class for kids at Highlands Ranch Library, making school visits, taking care of a toddler grandson one day a week and more. Her next title, scheduled in spring 2010, is “Riddle at the Rodeo,” about a teenage girl sleuth, in the spirit of plucky “Nancy Drew” — a McAdam favorite when she was young.

In addition, each Monday night includes a trek to the Augustine Institute’s headquarters at Colorado Heights University campus (formerly Teikyo Loretto Heights on Federal Boulevard, where several educational organizations are located), for a class in ancient and medieval history, with the Church in context. Her study of scriptures led her to picture the characters who surround Ronnie/Serephina in the Jerusalem landscape.

“We should put ourselves in the scene when reading scriptures,” she declares.

McAdam met with a pilot focus group of middle school girls at St. Marys Littleton while she was working on the book and has started meeting weekly with a book discussion group of girls and boys at St. Thomas More School in Centennial. Although published by a Catholic press, with an apparent niche market in mind, the book will interest many teenage history buffs with its ability to take the reader far, far away. The writer has created lesson plans and discussion questions for teachers who want to use the book with their students. See for information.

McAdam is scheduled for book signings:

7 p.m. Dec. 4 at Tattered Cover Highlands Ranch, 9315 Dorchester St., Highlands Ranch, 303-470-7050

3:30 to 5:30 p.m. Dec. 5 and 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 6 at St. Thomas More Gift Shop, 8035 S. Quebec St., Centennial, 303-221-9229.

Other dates will be on the Web site.


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