Recently I was thrilled to discover that Christian Focus Publications has a great blog, up and running showcasing their latest kids books, called Christian Focus 4 Kids. Previously I have written about how important it is for our children to read about Christian Heroes… Christian Focus 4 Kids is a Publishing house that publishers lots of great christian biographies for kids of different reading abilities. One of their popular series, the Trailblazer series has recently become available on the Kindle. Which is fantastic news for us, I love packing our Kindle with books for the kids to stumble upon and discover.
Who can resist an Eric Liddell biography, I dived in at the opportunity and my kids joined in as we read our way through it. This book is a book about the life of Eric Liddell… his whole life. What a relief to find a book about Eric Liddell that is about more than just his dash around the race track. It is definitely not just the race in the Paris Olympics, made famous by the popular movie, Chariots of Fire.
To be honest I usually give books from the Trailblazer series to my kids to read, especially those in the easy reader stage. The chapters are short and manageable, there are questions at the end of the book, which help you to highlight the main point of each chapter. Because I had signed up to write a review I had to read this book all the way through myself and I was more than pleasantly surprised!!!
I have to say I have a whole new respect for this series, the chapters may well be short and readable for the beginner reader but they are not by any means simple or written down to the younger reader. Oh no, the chapters of this book are packed with facts and interesting anecdotes. What can I say, I found it a really interesting read and I am thrilled to discover a book that treats the beginner reader with some respect. Not to mention, there is fabulous timeline that provides hooks between the subject and other historical events that they might know about and so help them relate the book to knowledge they already have. Just because this book is marketed as a children’s book don’t for a moment think that an adult wouldn’t enjoy the read. It was a quick read, I admit, but I so enjoyed that this book really is packed with interesting details.
Eric Liddell was born in born in China in 1902, and spent his early years there. When he was of school going age his parents brought him and his older brother home to attend a The Boys Mission School in England. As you can imagine it wasn’t an easy childhood to be split away from ones parents but he was an affable fellow and seems to have survived the rigors of boarding school with the very occasional visit from his parents. His love of sports, particularly rugby and athletics, began at school and he carried his passion through to University. He began entering races and winning. My children so enjoyed hearing about his athletics preparation and training, particularly for the Olympics, very different to the very over the top practices of today!!!
As you read the book and through his remarkable racing career, you come to realize that athletics was not his life calling, but serving God with all his heart certainly was. God used a good friend and a mentor to prepare his heart and soul for returning to China. He returned to China in what some say was the prime of his athletics career, where he worked as a teacher… He married and had three children, the youngest never actually met him because just before he was put into a prison of war camp he placed his family and then pregnant wife on a ship for Canada, where they would be safer. He suffered for his belief, but never gave up, he served his fellow prisoners but eventually illness and malnutrition got the better of his strong body. He eventually died of a brain tumor and tragically his family never saw him again.
My children were fascinated by this story and they were sad for his family, especially the baby that he never got to meet. But above all else they were inspired by a man that gave of his best in everything, often coming from behind he conquered all, through hard work and an incredible faith in his Savior. His life was a true reflection of a christian hero and he ran his race for God without faltering.
This book was given to me as an e-pub by Christian Focus 4 Kids, and I was not paid in anyway to say that it was a great book. I provide the positive review because my kids and I thoroughly enjoyed it and would recommend it as a great read.