I’d like to thank EP Books for giving me a copy of Zachary Macaulay by Faith Cook in return for my honest review.
There are few social issues that leave a bloody stain across the pages of history the way slavery and racial violence do. The Bible is so very clear that human beings are created and valued by God regardless of the shade of their skin. Driven by this understanding of Scripture, Christian men and women were central in the fight to end slavery both in the United States and in the British Empire.
Zachary Macaulay (1768-1838) was an integral part of the abolition of slavery in the whole of the British Empire. Though he was a participant in oppression and brutality at a young age in Jamaica, Macaulay was radically saved through the witness of his brother-in-law Thomas Babington. Already involved in the abolitionist movement, Babington was good friends with like-minded men including William Wilberforce and Thomas Clarkson…..
Macaulay was drawn into the abolitionist movement and God used him as a vital part of the effort to end slavery. Once he joined the abolitionist effort, Macaulay became the governor of a colony of freed men and women in Sierra Leone. He rode aboard a slave ship — in the hull with the slaves — in order to better research their plight. Macaulay married and had nine children, the oldest of which became the famed historian and politician Lord (Thomas) Macaulay.
Zachary Macaulay worked tirelessly for the majority of his lifetime to end the enslavement of his fellow human beings. His faith in Christ was the driving force behind his passion.
Faith Cook has written an excellent, short (158 pages) biography for EP Books’ Bitesize Biographies line (which boasts 18 titles so far).
Zachary Macaulay by Faith Cook (EP Books, 2012)is perfect for older students wishing to understand the struggle to end slavery in the UK and its territories. Cook tells the story of Zachary Macaulay in a straightforward manner from a Christian worldview. Though she reports on the horrors of the slave trade, there aren’t any unnecessary details that might make a middle school parent pause. I appreciated her comments on issues such as the snare of parental pride. In fact, Zachary Macaulay is an excellent character study.
Cook’s writing doesn’t hold back. Her sentence structure and vocabulary are advanced and may be a challenge for middle school students who have not been stretched to read anything beyond commercial fiction. However, the books should be manageable by any twelve year old who has read the classics. For high school students, the vocabulary should be completely manageable.
Zachary Macaulay is an excellent biography on an important historical figure. The result of Macaulay’s salvation in clear both in his character and in his life’s mission. I’m enthusiastic about the message of the book and our family will be including this Macaulay’s story in our middle school study of the early 1800s in a couple of years. I’m excited, also, about the Bitesize Biographies line from EP Books. The line includes short biographies on a number of historical Christian figures that are not normally accessible for students such as: John Chrysostom, Thomas Cranmer, Matthew Henry, Renee of France, and Festo Kivengere. I’m looking forward to adding titles from this line to our studies over the next four years as we go through history again.
Zachary Macaulay would coordinate well with studies involving
Slavery / Abolitionism
- William Wilberforce
- Sierra Leone
- The late 1700s
- The early 1800s
You can find Zachary Macaulay at
More Bitesize Biographies from EP Books
Other books for older students reviewed on Thinking Kids:
- God’s Story: A Student’s Guide to Church History by Brian Cosby
- Water the Earth: A Student’s Guide to Missions by Aaron Little
- Rebels Rescued: A Student’s Guide to Reformed Theology by Brian Cosby
- Bitesize Theology: An ABC of Christian Faith by Peter Jeffrey
- Zachary Macaulay (Bitesize Biographies) by Faith Cook
- Questions God Asks by Israel Wayne
- Grace Works! (And Ways We Think It Doesn’t) by Douglas Bond
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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.