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 it’s not too late! So whether you’re rather young yourself, or perhaps a parent (or soon-to-be parent), Simonetta Carr’s biography on John Knox may be of great interest to you. To evaluate the book, I’d like to give an overview of both the content and the creativity of the book.
Carr’s biography on the great Scottish reformer is part of the “Christian Biographies for Young Readers” series by Reformation Heritage Books. Other figures of church history from this series include: John Calvin, Augustin of Hippo, John Owen, 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 Knox’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, though it’s still a book that would require some maturity in language development (the back says “FOR 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 Carr’s “John Knox” is a must-read for families!
Matt Abraxas provided great artwork for Carr’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 reformer’s life. Some additional features to the book include the timeline of page 57, something I find helpful in comprehension, several “Did you know?” facts about Knox’s life (several were things I’ve never heard of), and even chapters 1-4 of “The Scots Confession of Faith” (2 pages in length). Overall, “John Knox” helps readers of all ages to better acquaint themselves with a great man in church history.
A special “thank you” 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.