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Book Review

The Tombs of Anak by Frank E. Peretti has been reviewed by Focus on the Family’s marriage and parenting magazine. It is the third book in the "Cooper Kids Adventures" series.

Positive Elements

Spiritual Content

Sexual Content

Violent Content

Crude or Profane Language

Drug and Alcohol Content

Other Negative Elements


Pro-social Content

Objectionable Content

Summary Advisory

Plot Summary

Dr. Cooper, 13-year-old Lila and 14-year-old Jay are on an excavation site in Gath. Accompanying them is a two-man crew, Jeff and Bill, and a tag-along named Jerry. Dr. Cooper is there to study, but his employers want him to uncover a treasure. The crew meets a man named Ben-Arba, who insists on accompanying them into the excavation site's tunnels. While attempting to stay clear of his brother, Anak and an attacking group of people called the Yahrim, Ben-Arba learns that his brother, mother, Mara, and the Yahrim have been enslaved by greed and power.

Anak lures Jay and Lila into the tunnels, because he is upset that Dr. Cooper and his group have invaded his territory. He is looking for revenge. As Dr. Cooper and his crew search the tunnels for his children, Jay and Lila help Ben-Arba find the true treasure, faith in God. They also find the treasure that Anak has been hoarding. When Anak and Mara are removed from power, Ben-Arba decides that the Yahrim need to find God's love before their earthly treasure can be returned to them.

Christian Beliefs

Dr. Cooper, Bill, Jeff, Jay and Lila all display strong Christian beliefs. They pray when faced with difficult situations and ask God for His wisdom. When God gives Dr. Cooper the answers to Mara's riddles, he immediately thanks God. The excavation team is strong in the belief that there is only one true God. Anak tells Jay and Lila that he will spare their lives if they worship him, but regardless of the outcome, they refuse to bow down to a false god. Dr. Cooper shows the same resolve when he and his children refuse to bow down to Mara. Ben-Arba observes Dr. Cooper and his crew's faith first hand. As he works with them, he sees that their God is loving and merciful. When compared to the god his mother created out of Anak, Ben-Arba realizes that Dr. Cooper's God is the true God.

Other Belief Systems

The Yahrim believe their god is the spirit of Anak, a ferocious giant from Biblical times. Their god, Ha-Raphah, is a vicious and demanding god that requires sacrifices and rules with fear. Mara, the sorceress, has created and groomed her son to be this god. She does this in order to gain power over the Yahrim and to take their treasure. Eventually, her son Anak believes he is truly a god and takes control away from Mara.

Authority Roles

Dr. Cooper exhibits godly strength and leads his group with compassion and justice. When a new member of his group disappears, he refuses to give up the search for him. He also shows wisdom and patience when Mara threatens his children. He prays for wisdom and receives it. He is also a good father to Jay and Lila.

When the kids find themselves in trouble, Jay and Lila remember what their father taught them. Dr. Cooper also shows his love for his children when he is willing to risk everything for their safety. When Dr. Cooper thinks that he hears Jay's voice, he follows it, knowing that Jay could be in danger. Mara, on the other hand, exhibits a negative authority role. She uses her own son to gain wealth and power, but she realizes too late that her son is the one controlling her. She uses witchcraft and fear to extract her wealth from the Yahrim people. They revere her, and she treats them without mercy.

When comparing his mother's beliefs with those of Dr. Cooper's, Ben-Arba chooses to emulate Dr. Cooper's. Ben-Arba wants to rule the Yahrim people with the same wisdom displayed by Dr. Cooper.





Discussion Topics

Get free discussion questions for this book and others, at FocusOnTheFamily.com/discuss-books.

Additional Comments/Notes

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Book reviews cover the content, themes and worldviews of fiction books, not their literary merit, and equip parents to decide whether a book is appropriate for their children. The inclusion of a book's review does not constitute an endorsement by Focus on the Family.

Episode Reviews



Readability Age Range

8 to 12


Frank Peretti






Record Label



Good News Publishers, Crossway Books


On Video

Year Published





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