Christian Biographies for Young Readers | Book Review

The Scriptures clearly and repeatedly command parents to teach our children the discipline and instruction of the Lord. That is to teach them the Scriptures. And thankfully today there are a multitude of books and resources to help us do just that. So here you can find some of my favorites that I think that you should add to your home library.

Each Friday of August, I will be spotlighting and reviewing some of my favorite theological books for children, before we launch into part 2 of The Pilgrim’s Progress in September.

Written by Simonetta Carr and many of them illustrated by Matt Abraxas, the Christian Biographies for Young Readers series is exactly as its title suggests: a series of Christian biographies specifically written for young readers. And as with the other children’s books that I have been highlighting this month, they are excellent.

It should be noted from the beginning that these books are intended for a higher age group than the previous books that I have recommended. While online previews make these books look like ordinary picture books, the reality is that they are more like coffee table books and would very pleasantly serve that function. Indeed, these are chapter books with most pages containing more text than would be found in read-aloud picture books.

I give this disclaimer because we first purchased the biography on John Bunyan to read to Eowyn since she loved Little Pilgrim’s Big Journey so much. And while we did read it all over a couple of sittings, she had no interest in reading it again or of other volumes. But she was four at that point. Now that she is five, her interest has been building, and we have read Athanasius and are reading Marie Durand. So, if you are looking for biographies for children under five, I suggest the Banner Board Books or Do Great Things for God series.

Yet for older children, these books are great. Reformation Heritage Books publishes great resources both in quality of information and of actual printing, and these are no exception. Abraxas’ illustrations have a great dream-like quality to them, making them feel like the reader’s own memories. And the timeline and Did You Know? sections at the end of each book give them each the kind of grab-and-glance content that makes such a great companion for a coffee table.

Yet Carr’s actual biographies are what make these books worth owning. As Stephen Nichols says at the beginning of his 5 Minutes in Church History podcast, this is our family history. Each of these men and women is our brother or sister in Christ. Augustine, John Calvin, Phillis Wheatley, John Newton, Irenaeus, and all the rest are our family. They are our forerunners in the faith, and we are continuing on their legacy. Carr has done a wonderful service to families and to body of Christ in general through the writing of these biographies for children.


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