John Knox - Christian Biographies for Young Readers
In This Series
Number of Pages: 64
Vendor: Reformation Heritage Books
Publication Date: 2014
Availability: In Stock
Series: Christian Biographies for Young Readers
Lisa HodgenAge: 45-54Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5Great Intro to Knox and the Scottish ReformationMarch 16, 2014Lisa HodgenAge: 45-54Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5
You may not think the life of a tutor or pastor sound very adventurous, but John Knox's life was filled with more dangers, risks and turns of events than most of us would want.
John Knox was a small, unassuming man, who began his career as a notary, probably a quiet job and life. Next he became a tutor for 3 boys from 2 families. Knox had, about that same time, heard the good news of salvation through faith alone, and although this was during the troubled times of the Reformation, there was some freedom and peace in his home country of Scotland at that time.
But his quiet life didn't last long. Scotland stopped the freedom the Protestants had been given, but that didn't stop the Protestants from proclaiming the gospel. George Wishart was a prominent preacher at that time, and Knox became a bodyguard for him. After Wishart was captured and put to death, Knox went on to take refuge in a castle that got bombed, become a pastor, get captured and serve 19 months as a galley slave. And this is just the beginnings of his story. Later in his life he flees the country, confronts a queen, and is almost assassinated.
Simonetta Carr does a great job of telling Knox's story in her brief biography for children. Several features, in addition to the story itself, make this book a great addition to your home library. Before the story, a colored map show the key places mentioned in the story, so you can follow his life's travels. After the story, a timeline of his life helps you see the sequence and time frames at a glance. I love the "Did you know?" pages with paragraphs of additional information about Knox, other key people of that time, and life at that time. Like the other books in this series, John Knox is a beautiful hardback with great illustrations and photos throughout.
John Knox is the seventh in Ms. Carr's series of Christian Biographies for Young Readers. My children and I have enjoyed reading all the books in this series, and I highly recommend them to Christian parents to introduce their children to, not only the life stories of Christian leaders of the past, but also the roles they played in key events in the history of the church.
alreddAtlanta, GAAge: 25-34Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5Excellent illustrated biography of KnoxMarch 16, 2014alreddAtlanta, GAAge: 25-34Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5
Simonetta Carr has created a wonderful series of biographies that highlight faithful personages from church history. This latest volume is based on the life of John Knox.
I have to admit I knew very little about the Scottish reformer before reading this book; I had only a general idea of his positions and his importance within the greater Reformation and was greatly impressed and surprised by all that I learned.
Knox's narrative is naturally exciting, from his early adventures as a prisoner at sea to his later confrontations with Scottish and British royals. Carr has created an easily readable account set in a detailed historical context, which included many of the names and places we have been learning about in our medieval to modern history studies. It is apparent that for this book, as with others in this series, careful research goes into writing such a thorough account, yet the author manages to keep it from being too tedious and even makes it enjoyable.
Knox's first days as a reluctant preacher through his rise as a prominent (and disparaged) reformer to his interactions with John Calvin in Geneva and his collaboration with other Scottish Protestants in crafting the Scots Confession make for a captivating read. Our oldest son is now seven, and this was the first time I have been able to read a book like this with him in one sitting. In fact, he was so fascinated he begged me to finish it rather than ending at one of the chapter breaks, as we had done in the past when reading about Anselm or Calvin.
I also appreciated the more personal aspects Carr included: Knox's doubts about becoming a preacher, his devotion to his wife even though they were often separated for months or years, how he led daily family devotions in his home for his family and guests, and how he remained committed to the preaching of God's Word to the end of his life, even in his weakened, dying state. Stories such as this encourage believers today to continue in the work of the Lord despite persecution and hardship.
This beautifully bound hardback series has always included excellent artistic representations and this edition is no exception. The picture-book quality is enhanced by colorful maps, portraits of prominent persons, photographs of key locations, and hand-drawn illustrations of important moments. I also appreciated that Carr includes quotations from many letters, publications, and friends of Knox in order to provide personality and context for the story. At the end of the book, the publisher has reprinted the first four articles from the Scots Confession that Knox helped write. I was, however, disappointed that there were no excerpts from any of Knox's "fiery sermons" for which he was so famous. Perhaps there are no written accounts!
Overall, I found this an excellent biography for all ages, but especially for younger elementary children who are just beginning to read longer chapter books, because it still feels like a "picture book," yet offers a slightly challenging read and provides a wealth of information. Her acknowledgements even include some possibilities for further reading, which I might delve into in the future.
We are grateful to Reformation Heritage Books for sending us a copy to review. The opinions expressed in this review are solely my own.
Al HoustonNewark, DelawareAge: 45-54Gender: male5 Stars Out Of 5A great tool to introduce kids to the reformation!March 15, 2014Al HoustonNewark, DelawareAge: 45-54Gender: maleQuality: 5Value: 4Meets Expectations: 5
I was very excited to start reading this book to my children as part of our evening devotions. John Knox has a special place in my heart, as I am not only Scottish, I am also Presbyterian. I feel indebted to men like Knox and am thankful that God raised him up to bring the gospel to Scotland. Surely we stand on the shoulders of giants.
This book is a great way to introduce children to the tumultuous days of the early reformation in Scotland. Simonetta packs a lot of historical facts into the story without making it dry or boring, and manages to bring Knox to life beyond the typical vision most would have of the wild Scot preaching fire from the pulpit. She really brought out the goodness and kindness of this man, and his love for the gospel. The artwork is another way that helps us visualize that side of Knox. My kids loved the pictures. Most importantly, that gospel that Knox loved so dearly is thread throughout this volume in a way that little ones can understand.
My favorite part of the book was where Simonetta quotes a university student who attended a sermon of Knox' in 1571. He talked of Knox being so frail that he had to be "lifted up to the pulpit", but once he was there he became so full of life that he looked like he wanted "to beat the pulpit to pieces and come out of it." This man was a preacher till the end and a lover of the Christ's Church and His gospel.
This is a handsome volume, laid out for children with lots of pictures and large print on high quality paper. There is a very cool "Did you know?" section at the end with some interesting facts kids will love to know. Lastly, Simonetta has included the first four chapters of the Scots confession with an encouragement to find the rest online and read it together with your children. She talks about the Scots confession in chapter six, then proceeds to list how that confession defines what a true church is. So being a confessional Presbyterian, I paused to read that portion of the Scots confession to my kids. I was a happy man :)
Let me finish my review by including comments from Samuel my seven year old son. This is his review of the book:
"I liked when John Know talked to QueenMary and told her to repent. She didn't speak for 15 minutes. I really liked this book. I didnt' want the book to end, I wanted to hear more about John Knox."
What else can you hope for when you read a book like this to your children? This book is a gem and a perfect way to introduce young readers to the Protestant reformation. 5 stars!
I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my unbiased review.
CrystalAge: 25-34Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5Great, engaging biographyMarch 15, 2014CrystalAge: 25-34Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 3Meets Expectations: 5
My husband and I are always on the look-out for good books to add to our children's library as well as for our library at church. We especially value a good, trustworthy biography written for children. I've seen other books from the Christian Biographies for Young Readers series online, so I was excited to get my hands on a copy of this one and review it for myself.
John Knox came from such quiet beginnings to lead a quite adventurous life for the sake of the gospel. He was instrumental to the rise of the Reformation in Scotland, yet many children have never heard his story. His biography is laid out with great detail and accuracy in this book, yet it's written in a way that will surely engage curious minds. The reader can follow Knox from his quiet days as a notary and tutor to being a controversial preacher whose life was sometimes in danger. The facts are laid out within the context of the cultural changes that were taking place in Scotland during this time.
I appreciate that many historical images have been included in the book alongside new illustrations which will help to capture the minds of even the youngest children. While the book is engaging, it also includes great historical resources such as a time line of Knox' life and The Scot's Confession of Faith. There is also a map at the front of the book where you can follow the location of the events in Knox's life. I'm always collecting biographies to go along with the topics we study in our homeschool, and I love that this one contains so many tools that make it easy to integrate our studies. This book would be an excellent addition to any children's library, and I hope to add more books from the Christian Biographies for Young Readers series to our own.
John Michael Wiley5 Stars Out Of 5"John Knox" by Simonetta CarrMarch 14, 2014John Michael WileyQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5
One thing I regret not doing when I was a child was studying about the great men and women of church history. But the good thing is that itâ€™s not too late! So whether youâ€™re rather young yourself, or perhaps a parent (or soon-to-be parent), Simonetta Carrâ€™s biography on John Knox may be of great interest to you. To evaluate the book, Iâ€™d like to give an overview of both the content and the creativity of the book.
Carrâ€™s biography on the great Scottish reformer is part of the â€œChristian Biographies for Young Readersâ€ series by Reformation Heritage Books. Other figures of church history from this series include: John Calvin, Augustin of Hippo, John Own, Lady Jane Grey, and others. The book is about 55 pages in length, long enough to get a pretty solid overview of Knox, but also not too long to frighten young readers. Carr takes her readers along the exciting narrative of Knoxâ€™s life from his birth, his salvation, his first steps in ministry, and his multiple excursions of traveling country-to-country, not to mention the confrontational and challenging events. Regarding readability, I would say that while Carr attempts to make the story understandable, itâ€™s still a book that would require some maturity in language development (the back says â€œFOR AGES 7-12). Nevertheless, I think this would work wonderfully as a evening devotional for parents to read with their children (or some other context, like family worship). Regardless of your denominational background, I think Simonetta Carrâ€™s â€œJohn Knoxâ€ is a must-read for families!
Matt Abraxas provided great artwork for Carrâ€™s text, I found it to be appealing to modern audiences, yet it retained historical features as well, much of which looked like paintings of the reformerâ€™s life. Some additional features to the book include the timeline of page 57, something I find helpful in comprehension, several â€œDid you know?â€ facts about Knoxâ€™s life (several were things Iâ€™ve never heard of), and even chapters 1-4 of â€œThe Scots Confession of Faithâ€ (2 pages in length). Overall, â€œJohn Knoxâ€ helps readers of all ages to better acquaint themselves with a great man in church history.
A special â€œthank youâ€ to Reformation Heritage Books and Cross Focused Reviews for providing a free copy of the book that has been reviewed. All opinions expressed were my own.
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