There were many men and women written about throughout the Bible. We have always loved reading Bible stories to our boys. We feel as though that is the first step in learning the Bible. We have tried to get through to them that these were real people with real problems. With God's help, they were able to conquer those problems. We could not be happier about being given the chance to review two books by Barbour Publishing from their Kingdom Files series: "Who Was Jonah?" and "Who was Mary, Mother of Jesus?" These books show the Bible characters as real people, just as they were.
These are great books for kids to read by themselves or with a parent. These books are written for 8-12 year olds, but I can see them even being younger if a parent is reading the book to the child. I think that the reading level is around 3rd or 4th grade, but older children can get a lot out of them.
I appreciate how the books are written. They well the basic storyline of the actual Bible story, but they don't stop there. It is written as if you are investigating what happened in the story. I really like that. My boys know the basic stories, so these books look deeper at it. I appreciate that the Jonah book doesn't stop when the people of Nineveh turned their ways towards God. This book finishes the story with how Jonah reacts to their repentance. Most other story books stop before the story is over. I always have to complete the story for the children that I am telling the story to. I also like that throughout each book there are Clue Boxes that help the child apply the learning to their own life.
These books would be a great resource for a teacher to use with their Sunday School class. A portion of the text could be read in class and then discussed. All you would have to add is an activity and then use one of the Power Ups from the back of the book. The Power Ups are applicable lessons that can be learned from that book along with a Bible verse. The Bible verse could be sent home each week for the children to work on at home.
Listen to what my 9 year old had to say about each book:
Who Was Jonah?
I think that he can be one of the greatest prophets ever because he got his people's enemy to love God. My favorite chapter was Chapter 3:The Monster Fish. I liked how he got swallowed into the belly of a big fish, but he prayed to God. Then God saved him from death. I liked the book because it teaches you to never give up on God. In the darkest of times, God will always be there right by your side.
Who Was Mary, Mother of Jesus?
It really shows the story of Mary and what she mostly did. My favorite part is when Gabriel went to her to tell her that God was going to give her a son.
He also recommends these books for all children. I agree. These Kingdom Files books by Barbour Publishing are really great books. I really like these books and I am thinking of getting some of the others in this series. They have a book on Jesus, David, Daniel, and Esther. I would love to see how they investigated those other Bible characters.
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