Book Review of The Lost Medallion: The Adventures of Billy Stone by Bill Muir and Alex Kendrick

What My Kids Read Reviews The Lost Medallion by Bill Muir and Alex Kendrick I was contacted by a publisher and asked if I would be interested in reviewing The Lost Medallion: The Adventures of Billy Stone. I was given this book in exchange for an honest review. It should go without saying (but I’m going to say it anyway!) that the views expressed are completely my own.

The Lost Medallion: The Adventures of Billy Stone is a fast-paced adventure with a strong Christian message. One of the authors, Alex Kendrick, cowrote and directed “Facing the Giants,” “Fireproof,” and “Courageous,” so it should not be a surprise that they have also made a movie based on this book. It came out earlier this year, but I totally missed it.

This book was definitely written at an easy reading level, but parents should be aware that the content is scary and the whole premise of the book is based on a magical medallion. It’s stated that the medallion gets its power from God, but it might be offensive to some parents. The main character’s dad is very self-absorbed and distant in the beginning of the book. He has an extremely abrupt change of heart at the end, but that relationship was unsatisfying to me as a reader and a mom that wants books that portray parents that can be trusted. Also, this book has lots QR codes in the text that link to Bible verses or (mostly) movie clips. It might be helpful for children who have trouble visualizing characters, but it was distracting to me and I don’t really want my kids stopping their reading to watch a movie clip. The plot and dialogue get a bit thin in places, but it would be a quick, enjoyable read for most kids. It’s like an easy-to-read Christian version of an Indiana Jones book for kids.

All in all, though, the book is full of clear Christian morals, and the kids in the story learn great lessons about the importance of kindness and that God is the source of all power.

 

My Mom-Meter gives The Lost Medallion: The Adventures of Billy Stone an overall safety rating of 2 (Moderately Safe) for ages 8 and up.

Click here to skip to a Plot summary

Click here to skip straight to Potential Discussion Points

Category ratings (click on the category to see specifics):

Alcohol/DrugsSafe - no actual four-letter words

BullyingSafe - no actual four-letter words

Disrespectful AttitudesSafe - no actual four-letter words

Gambling:Safe - no actual four-letter words

Gross BehaviorSafe - no actual four-letter words

LanguageSafe - no actual four-letter words

Magic/SupernaturalCaution

Romance/SexModerately Safe - mentioned, but not glorified

Scary ThemesCaution

ViolenceModerately Safe - mentioned, but not glorified

Plot summary of The Lost Medallion: The Adventures of Billy Stone: ***Contains Spoilers***

Wikipedia has a pretty good summary of the movie, which is essentially the same plot as the book. You can read that plot summary here.

Potential Discussion Points for Parents in The Lost Medallion: The Adventures of Billy Stone:

  • King Kieli stops a villager that was “about to stab one of Cobra’s warriors.” He says “We will not return evil with evil” Do you think that the king was wise or foolish to say that? What would war look like if a king believed that? Do you think that verse is for countries?
  • Billy’s dad, Dr. Stone, let his obsession with the medallion ruin his family. He does not want his son around. He tells Billy “Everything that has ever meant anything to me is buried in the ground.” You might want to talk to your kids about the power of words, and even point out how selfish Billy’s father is to sink into grief and not care for his son.
  • Allie’s mother told her that she was an accident and left her at an orphanage. Allie lives in secret pain, believing that “Nobody wants me.” She plans to run away from the orphanage. Is anyone an accident? What does our family believe about why we exist?
  • When the children first ask for Faleaka’s help, he says “History cannot be changed.” But they do change history. Do you think history can really be changed?
  • Billy believes “I’m the problem, not the answer.” But Faleaka tells him that the answer is with him. At the end of the book, Billy realizes that his heart is the medallion and that God is the stone. You might want to talk to your child about what that means.
  • King Kieli said “A truly great king will find the courage to serve others.” Anui “knew Huko’s pride and arrogance were just an attempt to hide his fears.” Do you think it takes courage to serve others? Have you ever seen someone who was really proud? Did you know that usually people who act really arrogant are just afraid of people not liking them? 
  • Allie says that “king” is just a title, that Huko doesn’t believe that he is special.”If you did, you would treat everyone else like they were special too.” Later, Faleaka tells Billy “Every person has value whether he wears a crown or not.” You might want to talk to your kids about what this means in everyday life.

Alcohol/Drugs: None

Bullying:

  • Bullies at the orphanage trash Allie’s room and the bathroom to get her in trouble.

Disrespectful Attitudes: 

  • Billy disobeys his dad by sneaking into the archaeological dig.
  • The boys think that Faleaka is a “crazy old man.” They think or say that phrase many times in the book.

Gambling: None

Gross Behavior:

  • Faleaka blows raspberries at some of Cobra’s warriors.

Language:

  • “Stupid” is used 3 times.
  • “Brat” is used twice.
  • Allie calls Huko a “jerk” and Huko asks what that means.
  • “Idiot” is used twice.
  • “Dumb” is used once.
  • Cobra calls someone a “fool.”

Magic/Supernatural:

  • There is a statue of a man on the island and the medallion is kept on that statue. It isn’t worshipped as an idol.
  • The stone in the medallion took on special powers because of the king’s humility. It grants wishes and protects the island from famine, storms, invasion, and a tidal wave. Without the medallion to protect them, the islanders are conquered by the evil ruler, Cobra.
  • The king prays “to the One who gives the medallion its power.” Throughout the story, it is emphasized that the medallion gets its power from God.
  • Billy makes a wish while holding the medallion. Billy and Allie are sent back in time.
  • Cobra uses the medallion and wishes for the kids to die when they jump over a waterfall. (The medallion does not work for cobra because his heart is not kind.)
  • Cobra plans to destroy the island with the medallion. He says “I ordain my enemies to die!” He expects fire to fall from the sky or for the island to be swallowed by the sea, but nothing happens.
  • Billy calls Cobra a “monster.”
  • The medallion falls into the “Pit of Death” (into lava), but then reappears where the king had buried it. Huko uses the medallion to send Billy and Allie back to their time.

Potentially Offensive Behavior:

  • Several bad guys have tattoos.
  • Billy picks the lock at an archeological dig and disobeys his dad by sneaking in to the dig.
  • There is a joke about cannibalism.
  • Cobra has lots of slaves. He mentions that he needs to replace some that have died.

Romance/Sex:

  • Allie says that Huko is “so cute” and gives him a “flirty hi.”
  • Huko tells Allie that she is very beautiful and gives her a flower. Billy is jealous.
  • Huko asks Allie if she has royal blood, and she blushes.

Scary Themes:

  • The book opens with Faleaka racing to get the medallion to the king in time to stop a tidal wave from washing away the island. It is an intense scene.
  • Cobra has a trapdoor to drop his victims into the volcano’s lava. It is called the “Pit of Death.”
  • Cobra has “fang-like” fingernails that he keeps coated in poison. One scratch from his nails will kill a man.
  • Billy’s mom died of cancer.
  • One thug suggests beating information out of Billy.
  • Billy’s dad is held hostage for the medallion. The thugs threaten to hurt him with a large knife.
  • Two different times, Cobra threatens to kill Allie if Billy and Huko don’t hand over the medallion.
  • Cobra uses the medallion and wishes for the kids to die when they jump over a waterfall. (They don’t die.)
  • Cobra has lots of slaves. He mentions that he needs to replace some that have died.
  • The kids think that Anui died, but he had pulled them from the river and left to get some fruit before they woke up.
  • Mohea is captured, bound, and taken as a slave to work with metal.
  • The caves on Cobra’s island are filled with deadly traps.
  • Huko nearly falls off a cliff. Billy catches him.
  • Allie nearly falls off a cliff, but Huko rescues her.
  • A spear barely misses the kids.
  • Cobra plans to destroy the island with the medallion. He says “I ordain my enemies to die!” He expects fire to fall from the sky or for the island to be swallowed by the sea, but nothing happens.
  • Guard pokes around in the dark with a spear, looking for the children. He actually points his spear at Allie’s head, but cannot see her. He is called away before he spots them.
  • There are several scary scenes where Cobra’s men are chasing the children.
  • Billy hangs from a vine in Cobra’s throne room, full of sleeping warriors, and tries to steal the medallion off of Cobra as he sleeps.
  • Cobra puts a big, live hooded cobra in Billy’s prison cell with him. The snake strikes and misses as Billy picks the lock on his cell door.
  • Huko is tied to a stake and a fire is lit. Cobra intends to burn him at the stake.

Violence:

  • There is fighting throughout the book, mostly with spears, but some mentions of arrows and swords. Billy carries a pocketknife but does not use it to fight.
  • Cobra kills many people in the book, but Billy and his friends only knock people unconscious until the end when Billy drops Cobra to his death in the “Pit of Death.”
  • Faleaka gets slashes in the face and receives a blow to the head that knocks him out.
  • Cobra slashes the king with his poisoned fingernail, and the king dies.
  • Two thugs chase Billy and Allie in a jeep. The jeep knocks over a grill and explodes. The men escape.
  • Cobra poisons a warrior and throws him into the “Pit of Death.”
  • A soldier holds a sword to threaten Mohea and then threatens to kill an old woman if Mohea does not obey.
  • Allie makes a pineapple bomb. The chemicals needed for gunpowder are mentioned as she gathers them and makes the bombs.
  • Cobra pierces a general’s neck with his poison nails.
  • Cobra kills his advisor for saying “the medallion only works for a kind heart.”
  • The children nearly trigger a trap. “Two deadly bone darts shot out of one of the stone slabs – right at the spot where Huko would have been walking!”
  • Allie roundhouse kicks one of the guards and knocks him unconscious.
  • Faleaka knocks out two warriors.
  • Faleaka is shot with an arrow that was meant for Billy.
  • Billy slingshots a rock to knock a warrior unconscious.
  • Allie, Huko, and Anui trip a wire in the caves. “A huge flat stone studded with bone spikes swung down from the ceiling. As its deadly spikes rushed toward them, Allie, Huko, and Anui screamed in terror.”
  • Cobra knocks Billy unconscious.
  • Cobra says he will kill 20 slaves if Billy does not have dinner with him.
  • Allie teaches the slaves to build pineapple bombs (don’t hurt people, just scare the warriors).
  • Cobra fights Billy, and nearly scratches him. Billy and Cobra fight near the edge of the “Pit of Death.”
  • Billy makes Cobra scratch his own face, and Cobra is poisoned and falls into the “Pit of Death.” Billy catches Cobra by the medallion, and then intentionally lets it go, dropping Cobra and the medallion into the pit.

From a ten-year-old’s perspective: “I enjoyed this book because it was thrilling and unique. It walks a dangerous line between magic and Christian, but I think it works. I will probably read it a few more times. Kids that like adventure stories will enjoy this book a lot.”

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