Anselm of CanterburyPicture a time … it has been 1,ooo years since Christ’s resurrection. It’s the medieval times– there are kings and castles. The Holy Roman Empire is still a powerhouse and the center of the Christian church is in Rome.

Along the French and Italian border of the Alps, a boy grows up in the mountain village of Aosota. This boy, Anselm, marvels at the  splendor of God’s creation all around him. Anselm loves to think about God and always wants to understand Him better. His passion leads him to the monastery to become a monk. Anselm  hoped to live a quiet life of worship, reading, writing, and teaching about God, but God had other plans for him.

As the world is changing around him, Anselm becomes the reluctant Archbishop of Canterbury in the Church of England. Through his new position, he  consults with kings and popes. Anselm exemplifies the faith of a man who is caught in the cross-hairs of culture. He uses his gift of teaching and influence to present Christ to those of influence in his day. Along the way, he also writes answers to important questions such as why God became man and the importance of what Jesus did on the cross.

Bottom Line

In her new historical biography, Anselm of Canterbury, author Simonette Carr introduces a man of faith – Anselm- who lived quite a significant life for his day and times.  Anselm is not necessarily a man who most of us think of in the history of the church. I think this really makes the book intriguing.  I also think that having a person of faith during the Medieval period makes this an unique book. Carr captures Anselm’s life and faith in six chapters, and most readers will see him as a man worth admiration and emulation.  I also enjoyed the added detail that Carr has after the biography, including the Timeline, Did You Know section (more facts about the Middle Ages time period), and Words from Anselm (quotes from his writings).

This book is for 7-12 year olds. It  is a beautifully constructed, historical biography that is captivating to children and adults. The artwork is simply wonderful. Artist, Matt Abraxes not only captures the times in his art, but he also conveys the emotion of each scene. His pictures compliment Carr’s writing and draw the audience further into the story. I particularly enjoyed this biography and believe it will capture the hearts and minds of many young readers and their parents. Reading about Anselm, I began wondering how the times of our world now is not all that different than it was then. I wonder, who is the Anselm of our times? What plan does God have for this person and what influence will he or she have during this period in history?

I give Anselm of Canterbury five of five stars. The testimony of his life and the beauty of this book is too good to pass up!  Check out this and other books from the Christian Biographies for Young Readers series.

 Book Description

While he would have preferred the simple, quiet life of the monastery—teaching, reading, thinking, and writing about God—Anselm of Canterbury spent much of his life dealing with powerful kings, consulting with popes, and serving reluctantly as archbishop of Canterbury. Through Anselm’s story, Simonetta Carr teaches what life was like in medieval Western Europe. Young readers will learn of the tempestuous relationship between church and state during this era and the significance of Anselm’s writings about why God became man and the relationship between faith and reason.

Seeing is believing! If you are still not convinced, here is a Sample of the book

Publisher: Reformation Heritage Books (June 14, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1601782411
ISBN-13: 978-1601782410
Product Dimensions: 10.3 x 8.2 x 0.6 inches
Retail: $18.00 / Lower at both of these sites

Reformation Heritage Books


Series Description 

The Christian Biographies for Young Readers introduces children to important people in the Christian tradition. Parents and school teachers alike will welcome the excellent educational value it provides for students, while the quality of the publication and the artwork make each volume a keepsake for generations to come. Furthermore, the books in the series go beyond the simple story of someone’s life by teaching young readers the historical and theological relevance of each character.



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.

Here is a link to Simonetta’s Interview with Carl Trueman on the Mortification of Spin podcast.


Matt Abraxas has traveled from California to France, studying different 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.


Note: We were provided with a complimentary copy of the book thrugh Shaun Tabatt at Cross-Focused Reviews and the publisher for an honest review of this title.