Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Bible Biography Series for Kids!

I often get to review some pretty neat stuff, but this REVIEW has been an extra blessing for us.  Barbour Publishing has a series called the Kingdom Files Series, currently with six books, geared for ages 8-12.  We were given Who Was Jonah? and Who Was Mary, Mother of Jesus? to take a look at.

Other titles include-
  • Who Was David?
  • Who Was Daniel?
  • Who Wad Esther?
  • Who was Jesus?

Each book is about 90 pages long and full of black and white drawings with maps included.  The books are broken into three distinct parts- 

1. Fact file- which tells the character's name, where they were from, what they did for a living, what they did in the Kingdom of God, and more.  Timelines are also included in this section.

2. Action File- This is the Biblical account told in a child friendly way.  While the story is written as a narrative, story fashion, the author does not veer off the storyline original to the Bible.  Occasionally things are worded with "might have..." or "maybe..." but more often direct words from the Bible are used and then cited immediately.

Sprinkled throughout the story you will find text boxes labeled "clues."  These are little tidbits of information to further explain what is happening or give deeper insight.

3. Power up- This final section is the lesson portion of the book.   It takes what the child has learned from the story and helps them apply it to their life.    Examples from the Who Was Mary book include "Let your life glorify God" and "God is mighty and carries your burdens."  There is a Bible memory verse attached to each Power -Up for your child to hide in their heart.  There are 10 Power -Ups for each book.

How we used these and what we thought-
So as soon as these two books arrived, Colby, age 11, announced he was reading the Mary one first so I allowed him to do just that.  He squirreled it away in his room and read it over the course of a few days, brought it to me, proclaimed "That was great!" and wanted to know if he could read Who Was Esther next.  Note, that is not one we currently own, of course.  I decided to read Who Was Jonah? on my own before he could get his hands on it.  The boy is a book thief and there is always a small possibility he will run off with a book he likes and I won't see it for a while!  Jonah has always been one of my favorite accounts in the Bible.  Who out there wouldn't be able identify with the prophet who tried to run away from God when asked to do a hard thing!?  How often I want to choose to run away rather than obey and do what God is calling me to do. Power-Up #2 for Who Was Jonah is "don't be afraid."  What a great truth to teach our kids...and ourselves!

So, what did I think?  I really like these little books.  They are packed full of information and I love how they are written.  As you read you will feel that the author, Matt Koceich, is telling you the story, speaking directly to you, often interjecting his thoughts and ideas as little aside.  It is very conversational in tone, which I think often holds young readers' attention.

I love that these can be used as "just" a book on the shelf for your middle school kiddos.  Let's face it, there is a lot of inferior reading material out there and I like knowing that the books at my kids' fingertips are quality literature.  Since Bible Biographies are not often written for this level, these books fill a unique niche.

I would also recommend you use these books for Bible time with your kids as a family.  I imagine you could read the story together over the course of a few days in read aloud time.  I would then use each Power-Up point as a point of study, one each day or even one each week if you want to commit the verse to memory.  We have done scripture memory work often in our home, the kids are ALWAYS better at it than I am, and it always blesses us!

The Kingdom series could also be used as a classroom study such as Sunday School or small group settings for 8-12 year old.

The Kingdom Files

No matter how you choose to use The Kingdom Files Series from Barbour Publishing, I know you will be blessed to add them to your bookshelves.  God's Word and the lessons it teaches us about the God who loves us is always worth the read!

Kingdom Files {Barbour Publishing Reviews}
Crew Disclaimer

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