This is the first book in a new series by Stephen Lawhead. Skin Map is a fictional time travel story about a man named Kit Livingstone. Kit leads a very boring and uninteresting life. I actually felt depressed reading the first few pages and was happy for him when something as exciting as a long lost supposedly dead relative shows up and engages him in a case that involves time travel, mystery, and a treasure hunt.
Kit and his grandfather must find a map made from skin. A traveler had tattooed his body with a map - this map is one piece of the 5 book puzzle. The historical and geographical descriptions are rich and one can learn so much through reading this book. The characters are interesting but it does take time to build a relationship in the book with them. The story can feel scattered at times, but I am thinking that things will tie in together with the other books in the series when they become available.
I have never read any of Stephen's other books, but am thinking they are worth a try- from a library. Considering the cost of this book, I would have to recommend a library check out rather than a purchase. You won't read it more than once, and I am funny about spending more than $18 on a book you will not lend out much or read again. I could use this book for school easily if I used a time line and a map. For that alone, I recommend having it available for your homeschool teens.