A lot of collective biographies focus on figures that are already well-known. While there's nothing wrong with reminders about familiar things, the Light Keepers books focus largely on Christian men and women who refused to deny their Savior and who have sadly been hidden in the pages of history; even those whose names are known are rarely associated with faith (who knew that Jane Grey was a committed Christian?).
Each boxed set (one for girls, one for boys; each volume is also available individually) includes five volumes, each with ten mini-biographies. The bios are fictionalized, and while the main facts are all historical, there are anachronisms in the text that may make the stories more understandable for today's readers, but don't reflect the behavior or mores of older or foreign cultures. Still, the texts are fun and engaging, and even reluctant readers will enjoy these tales.
At the end of each chapter, factual details about the individual are presented briefly. A quiz at the end of each book helps ensure kids retain what they've read, and can lead to more in-depth discussion. The point is not simply to give the highlights of important Christians' lives, however, but to offer exemplary models for imitation and edification.
There is no specific focus as to which Christians to include: some were martyrs, some missionaries, some teachers, and some simply people who refused to let worldly concerns deflect them from their pursuit of holiness. Because of this approach, the Light Keepers books would make an excellent introduction to the similar but more in-depth History Lives series.
Christian children need Christian examples. These stories offer exactly that, as well as hours of entertainment for young readers. The handsome boxes will help keep each volume intact through multiple uses, to which your kids (and their kids) will surely subject them. There might be more "fun" books out there for kiddos, but there are few as genuinely uplifting.
Review by C. Hollis Crossman
C. Hollis Crossman used to be a child. Now he is a husband and father, teaches adult Sunday school in his Presbyterian congregation, and likes weird stuff. He might be a mythical creature, but he's definitely not a centaur. Read more of his reviews here.
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