Mindy and Brandon Withrow’s “History Lives” series, aimed at 9 to 14-year-olds, covers the history of the Christian Church in 5 volumes. There are short, narrative stories (one chapter each) that tell the stories of important Church/Christian figures in chronological order. Shorter chapters punctuate the narratives to explain important concepts and events, such as persecution or the Nicene Council. I read Peril and Peace aloud to my 1st and 2nd graders this semester and we’re hooked!
Because the books are in chronological order, they’re easy to coordinate with a curriculum. The chapters themselves are complete narrative biographies, or they are instructive on one topic, so these would also be perfect for bedtime reading or devotions.
The Withrows do an excellent job of both covering the information and writing the stories in an engaging and interesting manner. Honestly, I think these books are wonderful reading for any adult new to Church history!
Lest I continue my verbal love-fest over these incredible tools, let me just list the volumes for you:
Peace and Peril, Volume 1: Chronicles of the Ancient Church (3BC – 550 AD)
Monks and Mystics, Volume 2: Chronicles of the Medieval Church (550 – 1500AD)
Courage and Conviction, Volume 3: Chronicles of the Reformation Church (1500 – 1700AD)
Hearts and Hands, Volume 4: Chronicles of the Awakening Church (1700 – 1860AD)
Rescue and Redeem, Volume 5: Chronicles of the Modern Church (1860AD – tomorrow)
That’s it, folks. These are awesome. I have impeccable taste. Get shopping. (The really good news? They’re an incredibly reasonable price. You won’t even need to sell your silverware!)
Purchase the History Lives series at
More Books for 8-12 Year Olds Reviewed at Thinking Kids
- Michael Faraday: Spiritual Dynamo by Derick Bingham
- Guarding the Treasure: How God’s People Preserve God’s Word by Linda Finlayson
- Tough Questions About the Bible by Joel R. Beeke
- Bugs: Big and Small God Made Them All by William Zinke
- Growing Up God’s Way For Boys by Dr. Chris Richards and Dr. Liz Jones
- Growing Up God’s Way For Girls by Dr. Chris Richards and Dr. Liz Jones
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- Christian Books for Preschoolers
- Christian Books for 4-7 Year Olds
- Christian Books for the Middle Grades
- Christian Books for Middle School
- Christian Books for High School
- Christian Books for Kids’ Devotions
- Christian Books about Parenting
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~ Danika Cooley
Danika Cooley is the author of When Lightning Struck! The Story of Martin Luther (Fortress Press, 2015), Wonderfully Made (CF4K, 2016), and Bible Road Trip. Her work has been featured in internationally-recognized children's magazines over 150 times.