Books We Read: The Counter-Reformation, the Netherlands and Early American Missions

Welcome! If you're interested in discipling children for Christ, I'd love to have you subscribe to Thinking Kids. Also, please follow me on Pinterest where I've compiled a library of discipleship and homeschool resources for you. Thinking Kids posts contain affiliate links. You can find out more about those on the disclosure page.

This week, we delved further into the world of Henry VIII and the Reformation in England, Switzerland and the Northern countries. We also continued our study of Shakespeare and Reformation Hymns. (Again, this isn’t a comprehensive list of our resources… just some of the extra reading we enjoyed.)

Next week, we’re finishing up our study  of the Reformation, Reformed Hymns, Shakespeare – and we’re heading for the Americas.  Look for that post next week!

A Love for the Lost: David Brainerd, Brian H. Cosby (Biography, Grades 4-6)

David Brainerd had absolutely nothing to do with the end of the Reformation in Europe.  He was in America during the time of the Great Awakening, knew Jonathan Edwards well, and spent his short life serving as a missionary to the Native American tribes in the Northeast.  Mr. Brainerd attended (and was expelled from) Yale.  In fact, Princeton was founded, in part, as a result of his expulsion.  I found it fascinating that Yale, Princeton and Harvard existed to train men in the way of the Lord.   I enjoyed this book immensely.  Judging from the conversations I had with my kids, they were fascinated as well.  David Brainerd loved Jesus and spent his life serving the lost.  The fruit of that labor was evident.

The Christian Focus 4 Kids Trailblazers series is fascinating.  The books are written by a variety of authors, some using more dialogue than others.  Rev. Cosby uses quite a bit of fictionalized dialogue, which made for an exciting read.

Mr. Pipes and Psalms and Hymns of the Reformation, Douglas Bond (Fiction, Grades 4-6)

There are some Christian books that convey the truth of history and are valuable for that reason, despite the slightly awkward or uninspiring writing.  Then there are books composed by artists who paint with their words, deftly weaving story lines in and out, incorporating valuable teaching that becomes a pure joy to read.  Douglas Bond is an artist.  We enjoyed Mr. Pipes so much we’ve decided to read the rest of the series this summer.  When my boys agree to sacrifice hiking time to read about hymns, that’s saying something.

The fictional story follows two children and their friend, Mr. Pipes, on a summer trip in Europe, where the children learn about the hymn writers (and the hymns) of the Reformation.  Mr. Bond did a tremendous amount of research for the book, and it shows.  Additionally, the story line is exciting.  The end of each chapter has hymns by the writer covered in the chapter.  We looked these up on YouTube, and were able to watch the hymns in English – sung in some truly spectacular locations.

Courage and Conviction; Volume 3: Chronicles of the Reformation Church, Mindy and Brandon Withrow (Church History, Grades 4-6)

See more about the History Lives series in Church History Worth Selling Your Silverware For. I couldn’t imagine not including this excellent book in our studies of the Reformation, so I am reading it aloud as we go.

This week, we read “War and Religion”, an article covering the confusing subject of fighting over faith. We also read a biographical sketch: “Jeanne d’Albret: Deborah of the Huguenots”. We actually read a couple of stories about d’Albret this week.  She was an interesting figure.  The Withrows focused on her military campaign to end the persecution of the Huguenots.

1 Corinthians (The Bible!)

I got a kick out of the questions posed to me by the boys this week.  “I’m not supposed to get married?  I am supposed to get married?  What if I want to get married and have seven kids?”  “Mom, why do you cut your hair?  Is that a sin?”  1 Corinthians tackles some interesting subjects and we had some interesting conversations.  We got to talk about Corinth, Paul and culture today, as well as different doctrines regarding some of their questions.

What did your family read last week?

~Danika Cooley


  1. Kim says

    Hi, Danika! I am wondering what you used to teach the Counter Reformation! Was it Courage and Conviction? I am having a hard time finding a book to read in tandem with a Luther Biography!

    Thanks for the great reading you have on here!

Leave a Reply