Previously I wrote a post on Helping Your Kids Read Worthy Books, and the focus of the post was on finding valid books for Christian kids to read in the sea of Christian material: what’s good and what’s bad, and which books are worth their while. Then I wrote a follow up post called: Se7en Resources: Christian Heroes for Kids, which was really a collection of good Christian biography books written with children as the target audience.
Now in the first post I mentioned that their are many adult Christian biographies that are appropriate for kids to read but I have found my kids can be a bit weary of these often drab looking books and some of them are over-long and over-descriptive epics that leave energetic minds wandering – to say the least!!! What has worked for us are books that are collections of chapter length biographies… often about “ordinary men and women” as opposed to “popular” Christians Hero’s. My kids love these books and quite literally devour them…
I will often carry a book like these around in the car for a couple of weeks and when we are stuck waiting somewhere we read a chapter and then we end up talking about the people in that chapter until we read on to the next chapter a couple of days later. I like that we don’t read them all at once or a chapter a day until they are finished simply because a couple of days in between leaves a little bit of time to mull over and ruminate over what we have read.
The fact that this type of book often has just regular folk doing extra-ordinary things for God encourages all of us. So often we think well: “He or she was a famous missionary and so they had extra-special Holy powers, extra-patience, extra-love, whatever was required of them.” It is so encouraging to see that we can all have these extra-powers as fruits of the spirit they are just waiting to be used.
22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
I usually choose these books with my older kids in mind… so many Bible story books and missionary story books are aimed at younger kids but there is very little targeted at older kids and young teens that aren’t quite ready for adult books. I have found that while I choose these for my older kids, just like reading any good quality literature, they tend to be pretty ageless and the younger kids are “dragged” into the story and want to know what’s next along with the rest of us.
Here are se7en examples of the type of book I am talking about, and I usually find them in the biography section of our local Christian bookshop:
- The Great Escape by Christine Fahrenhorst: My kids loved this book, in fact I never got to read it out-loud because it was literally inhaled! The book contains short chapters highlighting people from events in history, it focuses on their failings and victories and what we can learn from them.
- Amazing Stories from Times Past by Christine Fahrenhorst: These stories are simply too amazing to believe – you have to read them to appreciate them! Stories about spreading the gospel for God in places where the gospel is really not popular, and time and time again God’s powerful hand intervenes and places these folk in the right place at the right time.
- War and Grace by Don Stephens: The stories in this book make for compelling reading. You may have heard of many of the people in this book from reading about the history of the world wars but you may not know about their spiritual lives, each of them a committed Christian either before or after the respective wars and the impact they had on spreading the Gospel.
- 70 Great Christians by Geoffrey Hanks: I like this book, you can read it in sequential order and build up a history of the church or you can dip in and read individual chapters. This is a great book, full of snippets and maps and diagrams.
- Lives Turned Upside Down by Faith Cook: Anything by Faith Cook is good – anything! Here she takes the lives of a couple ordinary men and women and writes about how God literally turns their lives upside down. A great read and the sort of book I dip into from time to time for encouragement.
- Great Christian Hymn Writers by Jane Stuart Smith and Betty Carlson: This book is great for a quick read and dipping into. Each biography is a page or two long and includes a little bit about one of the hymn writers hymns. Hymn writers collections are a great place to start looking for Christian biographies.
- Forgotten Heroes of Revival by Tim Shenton: Five inspiring biographies about men who were able to inspire other men to great heights. A quick and easy read, just enough to make you want to find out more!!!
There you go se7en books to inspire you! We have bought all these books from our local Christian bookstore:
If you have a great Christian biography collection that you have read to your kids or that inspired you then let us all know about it in the comments below.
Have a Great Week!