If you have been following me for a while, you know that I enjoy a good non-fiction book. As a teacher and homeschool family we are always looking for great faith focused books that go along with the curriculum we are using. This week I am not just reviewing the book, I am relying on some of my “class” to offer their opinions on a new book by Simonetta Carr, John Knox: A Biography for Young Readers. We were able to review another title in this series by Carr and illustrator, Matt Abraxas, Anselm of Canterbury. This was definitely an enjoyable book for young reader so we were pleased to take a look at another title in this series of Christian biographies for young readers. In fact, the rest of this post has been written by the kids …
John Knox is a great history book and sums up John Knox’s life very quickly, but not so much as to make it shallow and weak. If you are interested in a short but sweet bio of a great reformer and pioneer of the Christian Faith, then search no longer. It might take two hours to read in its entirety. I would recommend this book to eight – twelve year olds, especially if they are interested in the history of Christian faith.
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Grace – age: 11 ~ “I really like the vivid images in this book. I would recommend this book to visual learners. The book tells the history of the life of John Knox well, while giving the reader a picture of Christian life in the mid-1500’s. I think it was especially inspiring how brave John Knox was and that he was willing to die for his faith.”
Alex – age: 13 ~ “I think the book is appealing to young readers. It also sticks to the facts, and gives the reader an overview of John Knox’s life, without choking the reader with too much detail. I also liked his opposition to the queen’s rule of Scotland. Feminism was a real issue in this book. He believed the queen was too young to rule because at the time she was twelve years old. He opposed female rule in general. As a Protestant, he believed that Roman Catholicism emphasized the human side of our Savior, so he opposed the queen’s religious influence ”
Caleb – age: 11 ~ “This book was great. It told me how to become brave and stand up for what is right like John Knox did. I also found out more about history like about the men in the galleys, the section of a boat where slave rowers were chained and were given only 3 meals a week. The soldiers commanded them to pray to Mary when they didn’t want to. Another thing I learned was what it was like in Scotland, in the mid-1500s, and how selfish Catholics were during that time. The author was great at telling about John Knox and the other five Johns who were preaching for Christ. It was cool to learn about the history of Scotland. I didn’t know much about Scotland so it was fun learning more about the their history.”
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John Knox: a biography for young readers is a great book, and we all learned many things we didn’t know before. It tells the story of John Knox along with what was going on with the rest of the Christian world. Truth be told, I enjoyed this book even more than the previous title we reviewed, but the consensus of our reviewers was that the book, hands-down won four-and-a-half stars.
For Ages 7-12 From armed bodyguard to galley slave, from loving husband and father to fiery preacher, John Knox was moved by a relentless passion for the honor of God and the purity of His truth and worship. Yet when he was a schoolboy growing up in the small Scottish town of Haddington, he could never have imagined that he would become a major leader of the powerful movement that transformed Scotland into one of the most committed Protestant countries in the world. Simonetta Carr tells the story of how this great Reformer, whose life began humbly, in a faraway, mysterious part of the world, influenced the church and its beliefs far beyond the borders of Scotland, shaping our thinking still today.
Series: Christian Biographies for Young Readers
Hardcover: 64 pages
Publisher: Reformation Heritage Books (February 18, 2014)
Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 10.2 x 0.5 inches
Retail Price: $18.00
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Other books in the Christian Biographies for young Readers Series include:
Anselm of Canterbury, Athanasius, Augustine of Hippo, John Calvin, John Owen, and Lady Jane Grey
Author Simonetta Carr was born in Italy and has lived and worked in different cultures. A former elementary school teacher, she has home-schooled her eight children for many years. She has written for newspapers and magazines around the world and has translated the works of several Christian authors into Italian. Presently, she lives in San Diego with her husband, Thomas, and family. She is a member and Sunday school teacher at Christ united Reformed Church.
Illustrator Matt Abraxas has traveled from California to France, studying diff erent approaches to art. He enjoys creating and teaching art and currently exhibits his work at the SmithKlein Gallery in Boulder, Colorado. Matt lives with his wife, Rebecca, and two sons, Zorba and Rainer, in Lafayette, Colorado.