Name of Book: John Calvin
Author: Simonetta Carr
Illustrator: Emmanuele Taglietti
Publisher: Reformation Heritage Books
Audience: Ages: 7-10
Summary: This is a biography of the reformer, John Calvin, that provides the reader with the basics of Calvin’s life and teaching in a very readable and interesting way. The author does not spend a great deal of time on insignificant details but gives the main points of Calvin’s life, theology and ministry. The seven chapters (which chronologically follow Calvin’s life) are of appropriate length and depth of information to help the reader be able to divide it into manageable portions in order to study different aspects of Calvin’s life. The author does an excellent job in this book of presenting the more human side of this great theologian and reformer.
Literary elements at work in the story: As a biographical account of the life and works of John Calvin the book does an excellent job of highlighting Calvin’s personality, his love for God and the church, and the personal challenges he faced, in a simple and straightforward manner. The books illustrations allow the reader to be transported back into history and to gain some visual insights into the struggles that Calvin faced as he fought for the reformation of the church. Also, the last few pages of the book provide some “Did you know?” questions that provide an opportunity for additional learning regarding the customs and culture in which Calvin lived.
Perspective on gender/race/culture/economic ability: As this is an historical accounting of a specific person’s life this book does not give an overall perspective other than that of a reformer. Therefore, this book would be appropriate for all audiences that have an interest in learning more about the history of Christianity and the reformed tradition.
Theological conversation: Servanthood, Church doctrines
Faith Talk Questions:
1. What does “reformed” mean?
2. Why did John Calvin think that the church needed to be reformed?
3. What happened to John Calvin as a result of his beliefs?
4. What would be considered the most important book that John Calvin
5. How important was that book to the reformation? Why?
6. Do you believe that John Calvin was a faithful servant? Why?
7. Does John Calvin’s life present any ideas about how we should live our lives?
Review prepared by Union Presbyterian Seminary student Donna Fair
For a previous review of this book, click here.
Filed under: Book Reviews, Books written for Grades 1 -3 (Ages 6-8), Books written for Grades 5-8 (Ages 10 -13), Middle Schoolers, Older Elementary | Tagged: Change, History, John Calvin, service | 2 Comments »