The concept of God is something that can be very hard for a young child to comprehend. It can also be a scary thought for some. To some the concept of God is about an all powerful being that punishes people if they do wrong. And how do you try and do the right thing all the time. (This concept though is hard for some adults.)
Grace & Truth Books is a Christian bookstore built on the idea that “fancy packaging” is not what’s important, what matters is “what will glorify God, strengthen His people in their walk, and call all peoples to find joy in knowing His gospel and following Him.” They have books and audiobooks available on a myriad of topics for both children and adults.
The feature a series of books for young girls called The Girl's Heritage Series. It is a set of 8 stories for girls, all reprints from the 19th century, that prove to be some of the richest, most challenging books for girls from ages 8 to 14. Also very suitable to read aloud with younger children or for family reading. We had the opportunity to review two books in this series.
Author Ann Wells approaches the subject of learning about God with the story of young Emily Tappan.
From Grace & Truth Books site:
"I don't believe mother knows that there is a God," said Emily Tappan as she ran in from the garden. "I'm sure she doesn't know or she would have told us all about it. Well, I'll just go and tell her." Blushing and almost breathless from the conscious importance of her communication she exclaimed, "Oh, Mother, there is a God. Mary Lewis told me so. And oh, he is so great! Greater than this house, greater than the tall trees, greater than everything, and I thought you would be glad to know it. I was so glad, and yet it made me afraid."
First Impressions of God by Ann Wells ($6.00) is the story of five year old Emily, has just really heard about God from her new friend Mary. And Emily's mother is not real happy about this. She tries to downplay Emily's excitement, but the seeds were planted in Emily's heart and mind. And now she is craving more information, but she cannot yet read. So upset that her parents cannot feed her the spiritual information that she desires, Emily tries to search out from her friend and from her teacher.
This story is simply written, and easily written at a 2nd grade level for a child to read on her own, or could easily be read during story time together. It encourages young children to share the news they know about God with others who might be yearning to know more or might not know anything themselves. Even their own family members. After all the seeds of love that grew in Emily's heart were planted innocently by her young friend.
Grace Raymond ($5.00), also a reprinted story from the 19th century, is the touching story of a young girl who possessed a violent temper and a tendency to be harsh. Grace comes to realize, after causing her sister injury, that allowing anger to rule in her heart was destroying her and would only grow, leading to worse and worse sins of hate and animosity.
We are still working our way through this story, but this story also features the wonderful lesson of learning to rely on God in order to overcome obstacles.
Our impression of the Girl's Heritage Series:
I liked the simplicity of the words used throughout the books. It helped so that Lydia could read a few words on her own. Lydia though, even though she enjoyed listening about Emily, did not always understand the sentences as written. You can definitely see the difference in sentence writing more than 100 years ago and the way points are expressed today. Lydia does have some issues when it comes to comprehending, and the book was written in a way that showed Victorian style life. So after the first chapter, I started to word some of the sentences in a way for her to understand them better.
She did enjoy hearing the story of Emily. It was not all tea parties in the garden though for this young child. We sat on the edges of our seat during times of natural disasters and illnesses that Emily faced, and kept reading as we tried to learn the outcome of this young little girl.
Overall these have been a wonderful read-aloud for young children learning about God. It shows that we need to have a healthy fear of him. Not a fear that he will destroy us at any time. It also shows that everyone can have doubts in their faith because of this, and that is ok. If we turn back to God we can overcome any obstacles.
There were many wonderful lessons for children and adults and I would recommend these stories to other families who are trying to instill the Bible into their children's hearts and minds.
The Schoolhouse Review Crew has the privilege of reviewing several different choices from Grace & Truth books. Be sure to visit the Schoolhouse Review Crew Blog to see how other families used these titles. Grace & Truth Books offer titles for all ages!!!
*****Disclaimer......I received these titles from Grace & Truth Books free of charge for the sole purpose of this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The views I have expressed are my own and are real experiences with my family. I am disclosing this is accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html>:"Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."