I want to thank Cross Focused Reviews and Reformation Heritage Books for providing me with a copy of Marie Durand by Simonetta Carr in return for my honest opinion.
Marie Durand (1711-1776) spent thirty-eight years in prison for her faith. Arrested at the age of 19, Durand surrendered her prospects for marriage, a family, and freedom that she might follow her Savior in suffering. Following the Reformation, Protestants in France had a brief period of peace before suffering intense persecution. Those who held faith in Christ alone as the means of salvation and Scripture as their authority lost property, freedom, and even their lives. Adult Protestants were expelled from France while their children were taken from them to be raised by Catholic families. Durand’s family chose to live outwardly Catholic lives while hiding their Bible and Christian books and worshiping privately in their home.
When Marie’s older brother Pierre became an secretive traveling Protestant pastor, Marie’s family suffered greatly. Her father, fiancé, and Marie herself were imprisoned, and Pierre was ultimately martyred by the French for his faith. In the dank prison she lived in for nearly four decades, Marie Durand became an encouragement and spiritual leader to the women and children held with her. She suffered terrible illness and discouragement with grace and in faith, refusing to renounce her Lord, Jesus Christ. Marie was released at age 57, eight years before her death…..
Simonetta Carr has written another outstanding book for her Christian Biographies for Young Readers series. Marie Durand (Reformation Heritage Books, 2015) is the ninth in a line of spectacularly beautiful and well-written biographies for children ages 7-12. There are photographs of historical structures and documents, paintings of events and figures, and wonderful artwork by Matt Abraxas. The pages are thick and parchment-colored. The Christian Biographies for Young Readers series are heirloom-quality books.
In addition to seven short chapters on the life of Marie Durand, the book includes a timeline, interesting facts, and a letter from Marie to her niece Anne. Simonetta Carr’s writing style is warmly conversational.
I highly recommend Marie Durand, as well as the rest of the Christian Biographies for Young Readers line. They’re beautiful, well-written, and help children understand the history of the Christian faith. I had to wait to review this book until my twelve-year-old relinquished it. He was excited to see it show up in the mail!
This book would coordinate well with studies involving:
England and France
- The 18th Century
- The French Revolution
- The Edict of Nantes
- The Edict of Toleration
- The Reformation and Its Effects
Other books in Simonetta Carr’s line
- John Calvin (Christian Biographies for Young Readers)
- Augustine of Hippo (Christian Biographies for Young Readers)
- John Owen (Christian Biographies for Young Readers)
- Athanasius (Christian Biographies for Young Readers)
- Lady Jane Grey (Christian Biographies for Young Readers)
- Anselm of Canterbury (Christian Biographies for Young Readers)
- Jonathan Edwards (Christian Biographies for Young Readers)
- John Knox (Christian Biographies for Young Readers)
Purchase John Knox at
- Amazon: Marie Durand – Christian Biographies for Young Readers
- Christianbook.com: Marie Durand
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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~ 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.