I’d like to thank EP Books for giving me a copy of George Muller by Joan Ripley Smith in return for my honest review.
I love the stories of people who love Jesus and take care of children because they love Him. George Muller, Gladys Aylward, Mary Slessor, and Lillian Trasher are among my favorite Christians to read about.
I especially love the story of George Muller (1805-1898), who trusted God in prayer for every need. He meticulously recorded his needs, his prayers, and God’s answers, reporting those throughout his lifetime for the glory of God…..
It’s inspiring to hear of God’s faithfulness in the life of another, isn’t it? It’s such a good reminder that God is sovereign, that He is mighty, and that He involves Himself in the affairs of mere humans when we petition Him. It’s also inspiring to read of the faithful service of another in the Lord’s service. I think we benefit from stories of the saints who have pursued God’s glory above all else.
I think reading about God’s faithfulness, and about the faithful commitment of our Christian brothers and sisters, can be especially important in the lives of young men and women. After all, middle and high school students are forming ideas of who they’d like to be and how they’d like to live. They are clarifying their ideas of who God is and how He cares for His own.
George Muller by Joan Ripley Smith (EP Books, 2014) was an especially enjoyable read. Mrs. Smith has done a wonderful job of opening each chapter in a narrative manner, and her stories and accounts of Muller were engaging. Moreover, her book covered aspects of Muller’s story and accounts of God’s faithfulness that aren’t present in many of the biographies of Muller for younger kids. Even if your children read a biography of Muller two or three years ago, Mrs. Smith’s biography will allow them a fresh look and a deeper understanding of this fascinating figure.
Another aspect of the book I really appreciate is the testimony of Muller’s conversion. Saved at age 20, he was an unabashed thief, drunk, and ladies’ man prior to salvation. (The exact details of his womanizing are not shared, but it is clear he was not living for the Lord.) The change in Muller’s life was significant. Once a spoiled rich sinner, he became a considerate, quiet-spirited, generous father to thousands. What a story of God’s grace and mercy! I think these radical conversion stories are also important for students.
George Muller is truly a wonderful addition to EP Books’ Bitesize Biography line. I just feel blessed to be able to give my children the gift of reading it next year when we study the 19th century again. I feel blessed to have been able to read it myself. God is growing my understanding of his faithfulness and sovereignty daily, and this book was a valuable voice for me on the importance of prayer.
Joan Ripley Smith was a Christian school teacher and is now a librarian. She has written for A Beka (Growing Up Where Jesus Lived) and is married with three daughters and five grandchildren. Her written voice is warm and interesting, which is–I’m certain–a reflection of that history with children.
George Muller would coordinate well with studies involving
- The 19th Century
- Orphanages / Adoption
You can find George Muller at
- Amazon: George Muller (Bitesize Biographies)
Bitesize Biographies from EP Books
Additional Bitesize Biographies reviewed at Thinking Kids:
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
- Questions God Asks by Israel Wayne
- Grace Works! (And Ways We Think It Doesn’t) by Douglas Bond
Thinking Kids Book Review Indexes
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.