Friday, March 7, 2014

Book Review: John Knox

John Knox by Simonetta Carr is part of the Christian Biographies for Young Readers series.  This series introduces children to important people in the Christian tradition and targets readers who are 7-12 years old.  The hardback book is very well made with nice, thick pages.  Interspersed throughout the story are well-done illustrations that follow the narrative and photos of the landmarks referenced.  At the end of the book, the author included the following items for reference:  Time Line of John Knox's Life, Did You Know? (fascinating facts about the time period), and The Scots Confession of Faith (Chapters 1-4).

The story begins around the time of John Knox's birth (circa 1514) and ends with his death in 1572.  A map of Western Europe is included in the front of the book so that the reader can follow his travels.  The writing is fluid and easy to read, but I think it would have been useful to include the pronunciation for some of the names and towns mentioned to help the young reader.

I asked my 11-year old son to read the biography and tell me what he thought.  It took him about 45 minutes in one sitting to read the whole book.  Afterwards, he said that it was a good read and fairly descriptive.  He described the book as a basic time line of Knox's life and about his arguments with Mary Stuart, Queen of the Scots.  My son learned that Knox spoke with John Calvin, and that Knox was a powerful speaker.  I asked him whether or not he would recommend this book to his friends, and he said that he would recommend it to younger readers because it's not that complicated to read.

Overall, I would recommend this book to any family who wants to learn more about one of the pillars of Protestantism.  This book would be valuable in a family devotion or homeschool setting.

Full Disclosure:  I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.