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Alexander the Great: Makers of HistoryAlexander the Great: Makers of History
Jacob Abbott, Ben House
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Abbott's account of Alexander's life reads like a Greek tragedy. We are reminded of Jesus' admonition, "For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?" (Mt. 16:26a). Alexander gained the world, but at what cost?

Alexander the Great is part of Makers of History, a 19th century biography series by two brothers, Jacob and John S.C. Abbott. Reprinted by Canon Press, these biographies have been edited and brought up-to-date for readers twelve and up. Not only are these editions given vintage style paperback covers, but they also include introductions that explain where these men and women fit into the timeline of history.
     


 
Nero: Makers of HistoryNero: Makers of History
Jacob Abbott, Ben House

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Nero! The name is both a shame and a shudder. In his life we are presented with an astonishing picture of human greed, cunning, and selfishness at its worst. And thanks to his prominent position, Nero's example of monstrosity has stood as a lesson and a warning to all men since. Born of Agrippina, of whom only such a son was worthy, he ran the gamut of every human crime and folly, making the Roman Empire minister to his atrocities. When he died, escaping human vengeance at the end, he lamented that so splendid a genius should have to pass away.

This thrilling biography-written by Jacob Abbott and newly edited for younger readers-offers a glimpse into the life of this spoiled prince who became a royal monster.

Nero is part of Makers of History, a 19th century biography series by two brothers-Jacob and John S.C. Abbott. Reprinted by Canon Press, these biographies have been edited and brought up-to-date for readers twelve and up. Not only are these editions given vintage style paperback covers, but they also include introductions that explain where these men and women fit into the timeline of history.
     


 
Ascent to LoveAscent to Love
Peter J. Leithart

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As one of the supreme Christian epic poems, Dante's Divine Comedy provides not only far more personality and emotional depth than the pagan epics, it opens up all the issues on which Western history turns-truth, beauty, goodness, sin, sanctification, and triumph. For all that, C.S. Lewis loved the Comedy for its seemingly effortless poetry. In this guide, Peter J. Leithart uses a biblical angle to open up the Comedy for students, high school and up. He begins his discussion by examining the meaning and place of the courtly love tradition and then introduces us to the varied levels of meaning throughout the work. In the heart of the guide, Leithart walks us carefully through the craft and symbolism of each progressive stage-Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso. Each section contains helpful study questions.
     

 
The Book Tree: A Christian Reference to Children's Literature (2nd edition)The Book Tree: A Christian Reference to Children's Literature (2nd edition)
Elizabeth McCallum, Jane Scott
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Once upon a time, a carpenter entered a forest and happened upon a wolf wearing a feathered cap. Quick, whose side are you on? If you don't know, then keep reading. Stories provide a roadmap for life. This is because stories are life. But oftentimes it's easiest to understand where we are when we can look through other eyes-from the perspective of someone else, living somewhere else, somewhen else.

If you thought you knew The Book Tree, think again. Jane and Elizabeth have updated this charming book with over 100 new book reviews, and whimsical illustrations from recommended titles are scattered throughout. New formatting and four indexes (title, author, illustrator, and subject) make it easier than ever to browse for that next well-worn favorite.

For those beginning to read for the first time or those beginning to read again, The Book Tree will drop golden apples in your lap, until you can climb high enough to pick for yourself. Paperback.
     


 

 
Brightest Heaven of Invention: A Christian Guide to Six Shakespeare PlaysBrightest Heaven of Invention: A Christian Guide to Six Shakespeare Plays
Peter J. Leithart
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Shakespeare is often seen as only second to the Bible in his influence of Western thought and literature. But Christians often have a tricky time with the arts. Exploring why Christians should read literature (and not dismiss it as unbiblical and irrelevant), Brightest Heaven of Invention seeks to help Christians understand literature, rather than evaluate it. Each chapter focuses on one of Shakespeare's plays through the lens of a central theme. Chapters are broken down into four lessons, each of which concludes with "review questions" that help assess reading comprehension and "thought questions" that advance critical thinking and analysis. Henry V, Julius Caesar, Hamlet, Macbeth, The Taming of the Shrew, Much Ado About Nothing are analyzed. The actual plays are not included in this book and must be read from another source.

When integrated with reading assignments of the plays themselves, each lesson can take one week, resulting in a month spent on each of the six plays. A suggested schedule for homeschoolers is included. High School students, or advanced Jr. High students.286 pages, softcover.
     


 
Deep Comedy: Trinity, Tragedy, & Hope in Western LiteratureDeep Comedy: Trinity, Tragedy, & Hope in Western Literature
Peter J. Leithart
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In this short but stimulating work, Peter Leithart draws upon insights from history, theology, philosophy, and literature to connect two of the most glorious and unique truths of Christianity-its hopeful eschatology and its doctrine of a dynamic, personal Trinity. First, Leithart shows that the biblical view of history is essentially comic and hopeful, in contrast to the classical Greco-Roman view, which is essentially and irredeemably tragic. Then he develops the same point by examining Greek philosophy and its descendants (including postmodernism) in contrast to orthodox Trinitarian theology. Finally, he shows how the tragic and comic worldviews have been reflected in literature, with discussions of Greek epics and two Shakespearean plays. The result is a tour through three thousand years of intellectual history that celebrates the living power of orthodoxy.
     

 

 
Dutch ColorDutch Color
Douglas M. Jones

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Amid the golden era of Dutch art, Clara has a passion for painting and life. But the two don't always mix. Her father is long overdue from Italy with the latest paint recipes, but lies, famous art, rare tulips, and sugary girls crowd Clara's search for her father. Someone knows where he might be, but it will cost more than Clara's talents to find out.
     

 
Fierce Wars and Faithful Loves Bk. I: Edmund Spenser's the Faerie QueeneFierce Wars and Faithful Loves Bk. I: Edmund Spenser's the Faerie Queene
Edmund Spenser, Roy Maynard
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Edmund Spenser (1552-99) ranks just below Shakespeare, with Chaucer and Milton, in the pantheon of great writers. In The Faerie Queene, he spins a sub-created fantasy universe that would be the model for Tolkien and Lewis. This poet, whom Milton considered to be a better teacher than the medieval theologians, wrote an epic tale of adventure, love noble deeds, and faith. And it all symbolizes the Reformation.

Despite all of his acknowledged greatness, almost no one reads Spenser anymore. Roy Maynard takes the first book of The Faerie Queene, exploring the concept of Holiness with the caracter of the Redcross Knight, and makes Spenser accessible again. He does this not by dumbing it down, but by deftly modernizing the spelling, explaining the obscurities in clever asides, and cueing the reader towards the right response.

In today's cultural, aesthetic, and educational wars, Spenser is a mighty ally for 21st century Christians. Maynard proves himself a worthy mediator between Spenser's time and ours.
     


 
Heroes of the City Of Man: A Christian Guide to Select Ancient LiteratureHeroes of the City Of Man: A Christian Guide to Select Ancient Literature
Peter J. Leithart
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The Iliad, Theogony, The Odyssey, The Aeneid . . . help your students read and grapple with these foundation stones of classic literature. Leithart, a Cambridge-educated Presbyterian minister, presents a scholarly Christian commentary on each of them, providing theological insight into literary conflicts between the heroes of the city of man and the city of God. Includes study questions. 389 pages, softcover from Canon.
     

 
A House for My Name: A Survey of the Old TestamentA House for My Name: A Survey of the Old Testament
Peter J. Leithart
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The best stories subtly weave themes and characters and symbols into a stunning final tapestry. This Old Testament survey covers the entirety of Old Testament history and is written for junior high readers and up, reveals the rich weave that makes Scripture the Story of stories. The author intentionally ignores the historical background to the Old Testament and concentrates instead on the internal workings of the text itself, providing a framework for the whole Bible. This book is designed for those who already have some basic knowledge of the facts of the Old Testament.
     

 
Huguenot GardenHuguenot Garden
Douglas Jones III
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In 1685, La Rochelle was already an old and graceful city, despite its high, thick walls. It was a stronghold--and home--for thousands of Huguenots. Your 9- to 12-year-olds will enjoy following the daily episodes of twin sisters Renee and Albret Martineau, and will learn about the joys and hardships of 17th-century life amid political turmoil and religious persecution.
     

 
The Mantra of JabezThe Mantra of Jabez
Douglas M. Jones
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Meeting Bruce Wilkinson's Prayer of Jabez with his own parody, The Mantra of Jabez, Douglas Wilson mocks the idea that a prayer can magically accomplish what Wilkinson claimed it could. Mocking the context-less, thought-free and deed-free "promise" of the Prayer of Jabez, this little book is perfect for all who decry the shallowness of Health & Wealth preaching. 55 pages, softcover.
     

 
Miniatures and Morals: The Christian Novels of Jane AustenMiniatures and Morals: The Christian Novels of Jane Austen
Peter J. Leithart
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Jane Austen's novels are not only still widely read, but also continue to influence modern film and literature. In both their moral content and their focused, highly detailed, "miniaturist" execution, they reveal Austen's mastery of the art of fiction and her concern for Christian virtues exercised within communities. Her sharp wit and sense of irony entertain, edify, and challenge both men and women alike. From theological and literary angles, Leithart unpacks both character and theme while summarizing each of Austen's major works. For all who desire a richer appreciation of her enduring genius, Leithart offers a hearthside seat.
     

 
Persuasions: A Dream of Reason Meeting UnbeliefPersuasions: A Dream of Reason Meeting Unbelief
Douglas Wilson
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They all walk toward the Abyss for different reasons, each of them carrying varying persuasions. Along the way, they meet the Evangelist, and as a result they face the Great Persuasion. Some of their conversations are recorded in this book.
     

 

 
Primeval Saints: Studies in the Patriarchs of GenesisPrimeval Saints: Studies in the Patriarchs of Genesis
James B. Jordan

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James Jordan reveals the fascinating weave of lives that bind together the heroes and villains of Genesis, as they progressively image and reverse one another in an ascending narrative of action, a narrative all too commonly broken apart or missed. These heroes of the city of God-Adam, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, and others-come to flesh and blood in ways that undo our normal assumptions. In stark contrast to the selfish heroism of pagan literature, the heroism of Genesis triumphs by breaking all the standard rules. Jordan inverts so many of the traditional negative judgments against these patriarchs' alleged weakness and "sins" of deception, struggle, and tyranny that they stand forth as heroes rather than scoundrels. And yet this book is not just about the heroes of Genesis. Throughout, Jordan draws a picture of how Christian culture should be imagined and lived in our own day, from creativity and work to tyranny and freedom. You will never be able to read Genesis in the same way again.
     

 
The Roar on the Other Side: A Guide for Student PoetsThe Roar on the Other Side: A Guide for Student Poets
Suzanne Clark
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For all its storied past and lofty reputation, poetry is really just the art of noticing, naming, and comparing the stuff of this world. Unlike the eye of modern science (which sees the world as a giant specimen for us to dissect), poetry fosters and nurtures life by finding wonder in the nooks and crannies of ordinary life.

Suzanne Rhodes, a longtime poet and teacher, offers The Roar on the Other Side as an introductory guide for students (junior high and up). Clear and imaginative, this book makes poetry approachable. Focusing on the importance of sight and the necessity of practice, Rhodes easily communicates the joy of words to her readers and helps them see how good poetry binds all seemingly-contradictory things together. Students will emerge from this book with a good handle on the basics of writing poetry and a new appreciation for the awesome world wherein we live.
     


 
Scottish SeasScottish Seas
Douglas M. Jones

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Scottish Seas follows the fears and triumphs of Marc Ayton, a young Scotish farmboy in 1707, striving to grow strong amid clashes with the sea, banditry, myths, animals, and brothers. Set in and around the colorful fishing village of Auchmithie located on the rugged east coast of Scotland, Mac and the rest of his family live a life full of laughter, faith, and wrestling.
     

 
Scottish Seas Audio CDScottish Seas Audio CD
Douglas Jones
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Scottish Seas follows the fears and triumphs of Marc Ayton, a young Scotish farmboy in 1707, striving to grow strong amid clashes with the sea, banditry, myths, animals, and brothers. Set in and around the colorful fishing village of Auchmithie located on the rugged east coast of Scotland, Mac and the rest of his family live a life full of laughter, faith, and wrestling. 4 CDs. Read by John Currie.
     

 
A Serrated Edge: A Brief Defense of Biblical Satire and Trinitarian SkylarkingA Serrated Edge: A Brief Defense of Biblical Satire and Trinitarian Skylarking
Douglas Wilson

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Satire is a kind of preaching. Satire pervades Scripture. Satire treats the foibles of sinners with a less than perfect tenderness.

But, if a Christian employs satire today, he is almost immediately called to account for his "unbiblical" behavior. Yet Scripture shows that the central point of some religious controversies is to give offense. When Christ was confronted with ecclesiastical obstinacy and other forms of arrogance, he showed us a godly pattern for giving offense.

In every controversy, godliness and wisdom (or the lack of them) are to be determined by careful appeal to the Scriptures and not to the fact of someone having taken offense. Perhaps they ought to have taken offense, and perhaps someone ought to have endeavored to give it.

Douglas Wilson is pastor of Christ Church, Moscow, Idaho, and editor of Credenda/Agenda magazine.
     


 
Trial and Triumph: Stories from Church HistoryTrial and Triumph: Stories from Church History
Richard M. Hannula
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Christianity is a faith in love with history. God took on human flesh and dwelt among us. The Spirit carried that divine work over the centuries, providing courage and maturity even amid our imperfections. Christians find their true family line not through tribes and ethnic blood but in the bond of faithfulness and shed blood that has united our family for millennia. We too often view Church history as the story of obscure aliens instead of the lives of brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers.
In this collection of forty-six brief biographies for children, Hannula sketches the stirring trials and triumphs of many famous and some lesser known figures in our family of faith--including Augustine, Charlemagne, Anselm, Luther, Bunyan, and C.S. Lewis. Through them we can begin to enjoy the old paths and find rest for our souls.
     

 
The Waters Under the EarthThe Waters Under the Earth
Robert Siegel

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The London Times LS described Robert Siegel's poetry as "unpretentious versatility" like "returning to the mainland after a tour of the islands." In this latest collection of poems, Siegel brings his remarkable range and technical mastery to bear on the mysteries of creation-wolves, slugs, moles, fireworks, mowing-all through a haunting weave of mythical themes.
     

 

 

 
Wise Words: Family Stories That Bring the Proverbs to Life (Audio Book)Wise Words: Family Stories That Bring the Proverbs to Life (Audio Book)
Peter J. Leithart
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In the tradition of Grimm's fairytales, Peter Leithart has produced a wonderful collection of bedtime stories set within the rich imagery and symbolism of Christian truth. Now listen to each tale read aloud, as the inimitable Toby Sumpter brings to life characters like the squirrel in "The Magical Walnut," King Lothar in "The Three Princes," and the foolish farmer from "A Cloud of Birds."
     

 
Right Behind: A Parody of Last Days GoofinessRight Behind: A Parody of Last Days Goofiness
Nathan D. Wilson
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You'll be Left . . . in stitches with this witty apocalyptic parody! From Buford Tin to Haddie the Whore of Babylon to the climactic struggle with the Oklahoma Antichrist, Wilson---together with "esteemed prophecy expert" Mr. Sock---hilariously bridges the gap between ridiculous and discerning while serving up a farcical feast of end-times fiction. 110 pages, softcover from Canon.
     

 

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