Tag Archives: biography

Bonhoeffer Abridged: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy


I had high hopes for Bonhoeffer Abridged by Eric Metaxas. Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a fascinating person who lived an extraordinary life. I found that Bonhoeffer Abridged was quite a disappointment. It reads like an abridgment (which it is, but it shouldn’t jump out at the reader). The prose is choppy and the topics are all over the place. There’s often no transition between paragraphs and sometimes the paragraph topic is just out of place, having no real connection to anything else being discussed. Often, I’d read something interesting only to find out that “well, that’s all you get”…I was left with more questions than answers.

There is SO much good subject matter on Bonhoeffer, but Eric Metals managed to make it tedious, dry and pedantic. It is written largely in passive voice and the author uses ridiculous, obscure words seemingly just to impress the reader.

I really wanted to like this book, but I really didn’t. Don’t choose this biography of Bonhoeffer. Yawn. Really. I couldn’t finish it.

I received a complementary copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

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Filed under biography, Christian, Non-Fiction

Get to Know Mary


Another great biography for kids, Get to Know Mary by Nancy I. Sanders, didn’t disappoint. Although less is known about Mary than about many other Biblical figures, Nancy Sanders does a great job of painting a picture of who Mary was and what life was like for her. This book talks about the life of Mary, the Annunciation, Mary’s family (including Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist) and Mary’s engagement and marriage to Joseph. It recounts the Savior’s birth. It gives an overview of the culture that existed when Mary lived, including the town of Nazareth, their faith, holy days and other things that help you picture the setting that the Christ child was born into. The book also talks about Christ’s life and death, how Mary dealt with raising the Messiah, and Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection.

I really liked this book. Like Ms. Sanders’ other biographies for kids, this one has a timeline of Mary’s life, a glossary, selected bibliography, source notes and student resources. There are plenty of stepping-off points for further study! This book had color maps, archaeological facts and Scripture references as well.

I am anxious to see the next biography that Nancy Sanders has written for children!

*I received a complementary copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review*

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Filed under children, Christian, Youth

Get to Know King David


Another great kids book by Nancy I. Sanders, Getting to Know King David is packed full of information about the life and times of the shepherd-boy-turned-king, David. I love this biography series. Each book is a mini-curriculum in itself. There is a glossary/word bank for vocabulary and eyewitness accounts which can act as stepping-off points for further study. The book has several maps and numerous photographs of historical sites and relics. There is a section of “Student Resources” along with a selected biography and source notes, all which can be used to deepen your student’s knowledge and understanding of the life and times of King David. As in  the other biography that I’ve reviewed, there is a pictorial timeline, showing the events in David’s life superimposed on events in world history.

I am fairly familiar with scripture, but there were several things about David’s life in this book that were new to me. Ms. Sanders does a great job of chronicling his life without going into depth about issues that might not be appropriate for young readers, such as David’s lusting after Bathsheeba. She just says that David wanted “another wife”…that gets the idea across without creating issues that parents might not be ready to discuss with their young children.

Getting to Know King David is another in a quality biography series for kids by Nancy I. Sanders. I recommend it for anyone looking for a book for their young reader!

*I received a complementary copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review*

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Filed under children, Christian, Non-Fiction, Youth