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Education Reporter
Book of the Month
Book of the Month
The Complete Guide to Adventures in Odyssey, Phil Lollar, Focus on the Family Publishing, 275 pps. $19.99, paper.

You've heard the radio programs, seen the videos, read the novels! Now you can explore the entire 10-year series of Odyssey adventures in creator Phil Lollar's new book.

Fans can catch up on episodes and story topics they've missed, plus enjoy trivia and behind-the-scenes information on Odyssey's award-winning programs. Newcomers can get acquainted with the characters, and review 10 years of small-town tales that have become popular across America and around the world.

The Complete Guide to Adventures in Odyssey was written in response to fan requests for information about the town, its creators, and their favorite characters. The central character is John Avery Whitaker, an older man and committed Christian, who lives in the fictional town of Odyssey. The stories chronicle John's life and adventures, and weave a colorful tapestry of supporting characters as they face everyday life situations. Each episode not only entertains, but provides a "lesson or example in how God wants his children to live." The programs, books and videos target young audiences, but have attracted fans from all age groups.

Focus on the Family launched Odyssey USA in 1987 as a radio program about a fictional town, with story lines based on biblical values and including scriptural references. In April of 1988, the name was changed to Adventures in Odyssey, mostly to avoid alienating Canadian or potential overseas listeners.

In its first 10 years, more than 370 original Adventures in Odyssey radio programs have been produced. The show airs weekly on over 1450 radio stations in the U.S., 125 stations throughout the world, and is in daily syndication on another 800 stations. In addition, 29 six-cassette albums and 14 CD collections have become best sellers. Eleven animated videos based on the series have each sold thousands of copies, and a dozen novels have been published, with more of both in the works.

In the book's introduction, Lollar writes, "I didn't think the fictional goings-on of a little town would become one of the most popular programs on radio. But, by God's grace, that's exactly what happened." Call 1-800-AFamily, or check your local Christian Book Store.

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