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The Prisoners, the Earthquake, and the Midnight Song Storybook

A true story about how God uses people to save people

By Bob Hartman, illustrated by Catalina Echeverri
from 6 reviews

Bible storybook that teaches young children about Jesus’ ongoing power to save and how they can tell their friends about Jesus.

Part of the Tales that Tell the Truth series.

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Based on Acts 16, this is a fun and compelling retelling of how a Philippian jailer and his family learned the wonderful truth about Jesus Christ.

Jesus’ ongoing power to save through the spreading of the gospel and through the presence of the Holy Spirit is imaginatively and powerfully brought to life by Bob Hartman.

Bob is a compelling storyteller and author of the Lion Storyteller Bible, which has sold over 130,000 copies in the UK and has been translated into 11 languages, and of YouVersion's Bible App for Kids.

Children will discover...
• Jesus’ ongoing power to save through the proclamation of the gospel and through the presence of the Holy Spirit.
• The powerful witness of Paul and Silas, who sung while they were held captive and refused to break free when an earthquake destroyed the prison they were trapped in.
• How they can tell others the good news of Jesus Christ.
• How to imagine the sights and sounds of a Bible story.

Ideal for children aged 3-6.

There is an accompanying coloring and activity book available for purchase as well as a board book for 2-4 year olds.

Product details


  • The prisoners, the earthquake and the midnight song


Age range: 3+
Contributors Bob Hartman, Catalina Echeverri
ISBN 9781784984403
Format Hardback
First published June 2020
Dimensions 8.7" x 10.2" x 0.4"
Weight 14.89 oz
Language English
Pages 32
Publisher The Good Book Company

Dan DeWitt

Dean of Boyce College and author of Jesus or Nothing

The Good Book Company has done it again! They take memorable Bible stories and bring them to life for young and old readers alike. And they do it so well! Grab this book to teach your kids or grandkids about a song that has reverberated from a Philippi prison through the pages of history.

Barbara Reaoch

Director, Children's Division, Bible Study Fellowship

Want to fill your young child’s heart with biblical truth? Enter into the sights and sounds on each page of Bob Hartman’s engaging book!

Paul Kerensa

Comedian, editor and writer

A brilliant book by a brilliant storyteller. This book is a must-have on your bookshelf, or better still, off it.

Independent reviews

The Prisoners, the Earthquake, and the Midnight Song demonstrates the beauty of the Gospel to reach dark places.

Josh Olds, Life Is Story, June 23, 2020

Teach children about Jesus’ ongoing power to save through the proclamation of the gospel and the presence of the Holy Spirit.
Based on Acts 16, this is a fun and compelling retelling of how a Philippian jailer and his family learned the wonderful truth about Jesus Christ. The ascended Jesus’ ongoing power to save, and the unstoppable spread of the gospel, are imaginatively and powerfully brought to life by Bob Hartman.... continue reading

The nighttime illustrations and the exciting narrative are the perfect combination to keep your kids captivated.

Aaron Lee, Musicgoon, June 1, 2020

The Prisoners, the Earthquake, and the Midnight Song tells the true story about how God uses people to save people. Written by Bob Hartman & illustrated by Catalina Echeverri, this children’s book is a beautiful way to teach children about Jesus’ ongoing power to save through the proclamation of the gospel and through the presence of the Holy Spirit.... continue reading


This story is striking and powerful

Théa Rosenburg, Little Book, Big Story, Aug. 27, 2020

Bob Hartman draws readers into it through sound—the sound of singing, of an earthquake, of the jailer drawing his sword—which makes this book fun to read aloud but also invites young readers into the scene. Hartman doesn’t just tell the story but creates an experience around it, vivid and animate and accessible, and filled with memorable characters.... continue reading

Customer reviews

Dec. 1, 2023

“Wonderful Book”

This book is the story of Paul, Silas and the Phillipian jailer from Acts 16:16-40. Paul and Silas were wrongfully arrested, beaten and thrown into prison, but instead of being angry, they sang and praised the Lord.
God sent an earthquake to free them! The jailer knew he would be held responsible for any escaped prisoners and was about to kill himself, but Paul stopped him and the jailer asked Paul what he must do to be saved. The jailer and his family heard the gospel and decided to follow Jesus. This is such a powerful story and this book tells it well with engaging text and illustrations!
We love the Tales that Tell the Truth series and this is another great one in that series! I’ve read in other reviews that people were concerned about the mention of the jailer being about to kill himself, but this is true to how the story is told in the Bible. As Christians we know that all of Gods word is good and we can trust him to help us explain even the hard parts to our children!

April 10, 2022

“We love these books, but have to reword this one.”

We own almost all of the tales that tell the truth books and our 4 year old loves them. I was surprised at the language of suicide in this one and thought it was unnecessary. I agree, the jailers fear for his life is important but it could have been conveyed just as truthfully without the line “so he takes his sword to take his own life”. In most shops this is marketed to 3-6 year olds which I think is far too young for that kind of content.

March 24, 2022

“Great Resource”

This is part of the Tales That Tell the Truth Series from The Good Book Company. It’s a beautiful story and speaks a wonderful message of sharing the Gospel in all circumstances. The original version of this book came out in picture book format in 2020. They have now revised it into a board book version.

The board book version has identical illustrations and wording as the original version but very shortened and simplified. I know the 2020 version had quite a few critics warning of the suicidal thoughts displayed from the jailer. This revised version does not go that far. It simply indicates he is crying and will be in big trouble if his prisoners escape.

The story is extremely short but is meant for toddler age kids whose attentions spans can only handle a couple minutes at a time. It’s also quite engaging with its questions throughout the story and encouraging singing from the reader.

The book is beautifully illustrated and teaches a great message of believing in Jesus.

I received a copy of this book from The Good Book Company in exchange for an honest review.

July 29, 2020

“Another gem in this collection”

My 5 year old son loves this collection of books so this recent addition was on his birthday wish list. Once again the illustrations are beautiful and engaging. The story shares the gospel and encourages children they can do the same. So grateful for these amazing books which introduce our children to life changing truths. Speedy service from the good book company. Looking forward to expanding our collection in the future!

July 4, 2020

“New Favourite”

Each addition to this series is our new favourite. Brilliant story-telling, stunning pictures and heart-stirring content. I've had to read this one twenty times in the last few weeks; I've thoroughly enjoyed it each time and so has The Theologian (aged 8), The Architect (aged 6) and The Jester (aged 4) - and so have various friends that we've read it to over Zoom. It's got us all excited about indestructible joy, God's power to save and the privilege of sharing the gospel.

The Good Book Company's visionary generosity in allowing the free download of the artwork is really helpful in sharing the story with others.

June 29, 2020

“Great but needs to be censored”

It really is a great book, beautifully illustrated, but the part where the guard thinks to “take his life” needs to be censored for 3 year olds in my opinion. I’d suggest this book is better for older children.

Thank you for your review. I do understand your concern as to whether this book is suitable for 3-year-olds, and it is something we try to be very careful about. The reason we call this series “Tales That Tell The Truth” is not only that Bible stories are true, but also because we work hard to stay true to the Bible text as we retell each story. In this case, the response of the jailer is key to understanding this story. His physical life is saved when he hears that Paul and the other prisoners haven’t escaped. This then gives the opportunity for Paul to tell him the gospel, after which the jailer’s whole family are wonderfully saved to eternal life. For that reason we couldn’t leave this part of the story out. But we were careful to draw the jailer crying, and not show him attempting to take his life. I hope this explains our thinking about this part of the story. If you still feel it is inappropriate for 3-year-olds, then I hope you will feel able to read it when your child is older. Thanks again for your comments.
Alison Mitchell, Senior Editor

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The Prisoners, the Earthquake, and the Midnight Song Storybook | Bob Hartman, Catalina Echeverri |
$16.99 $14.44