I want to thank Master Books for providing me with a copy of Giants in return for my honest review.
I really enjoy the “Legends & Lore” series from Master Books. The books are large, beautifully illustrated, with amazing pop-outs and mini-books included. The information and format is perfect as a read-aloud for elementary students or as an individual read for middle school students, and my middle school kids love them. When I reviewed The Flood of Noah, I just had to purchase Dragons for our library as soon as I saw Flood!
Giants: Legends and Lore of Goliaths by Charles Martin Jr. (Master Books, 2015) is illustrated by Bill Looney. The book discusses the prevalence and consistent tone and content of giant legends worldwide. Kids will learn about the giant legends from all over the world, as well as read about many of the accounts of giants in Scripture. The book really helps kids think about how legends originated in a common truth, which is found in the Bible…..
In this particular book, I struggled a little with the wholesale promotion of the idea that the Nephilim of Genesis 6 were a different race of men, resulting from the union of angels or demons, and female women. The book quotes as evidence statements from Josephus, Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, and Commodianus. I’m not taking issue with the fact that those men believed that to be true. I was just puzzled by this tact of treating this origin of the Nephilim as a well-established fact, as this is a much-debated opinion. Ligonier Ministries (RC Sproul) takes the stance (for example) that these unions were not supernatural, but rather, they were the forbidden unions of believers and unbelievers.
Either way, the Nephilim were evil, and global stories of giants also portray evil, frightening creatures. Though I found the firm stance on the identity of the Nephilim a little irksome, it was a very small portion of the book and my boys and I very much enjoyed learning about the stories of giants, as well as considering how legends around the world often appear to be revisions of the true stories of Scripture.
I really love the Legends and Lore series, and this book was no exception. Just as a side note, we really enjoyed the page on real-life giants. It was fun for the boys and I to see Robert Wadlow on the page about the world’s tallest people in recent times. Wadlow was 8′ 11.1″. That’s just 9/10ths of an inch from the height that many scholars estimate Goliath to be. (Of course, that’s contested by recent scholars, but a 9′ Goliath is the conventional wisdom. This may just lead back in an ironic way to my issue with the Nephilim.) Anyway, we saw a life-sized, moving replica of Robert Wadlow along with a display about his life at a Ripley’s Believe It or Not exhibit just last month. I have to tell you that standing beneath a nearly 9′ moving statue, I can understand how the Israelite warriors failed to attack. And I have just a little greater understanding of how deep David’s faith in the Lord truly was. God is amazing, friends.
Giants: Legends and Lore of Goliaths is a fabulous addition to the already wonderful Legends and Lore series. Even with my hesitation over the Nephilim interpretation being stated so strongly, I still highly recommend it. Just, you know, let your kids know the origin of the Nephilim is debated. For me. Okay, thanks.
More Creation Resources for 8-12 Year Olds Reviewed at Thinking Kids
- Jonathan Park Adventure Audiobooks by Pat Roy
- Bugs: Big and Small God Made Them All by William Zinke
- 44 Animals of the Bible by Nancy Pelander Johnson
- The New Astronomy Book by Danny R. Faulkner
- Growing Up God’s Way for Girls by Dr. Chris Richards and Dr. Liz Jones
- Growing Up God’s Way for Boys by Dr. Chris Richards and Dr. Liz Jones
Or just check out the Thinking Kids book review indexes for:
Thinking Kids Pinterest Book Boards
- 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
~ 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.