John Welch: The Man Who Couldn’t Be Stopped (Christian Focus 4 Kids, 2004) is extremely well-written for 8-14 year olds, and a fascinating story. John Welch has just received a new cover and typesetting to match the rest of the excellent Christian Focus Trailblazers series. I read the story to my boys four years ago (when they were 7 and 8)—the last time we studied the Reformation. They remember well the story, and were excited to see the book on their reading shelf for this year.
What child wouldn’t love the story? John Welch was a man of prayer, praying through each night, and the events of his life were extraordinary. He was imprisoned for his Protestant faith, exiled from Scotland to France, and his home city was twice attacked by the king of France because of his Protestant preaching. Friends, a cannonball went through the wall of his bedroom and landed on his bed, splitting it–while he was in the bed!….
The events of John Welch’s life were extraordinary. From near-misses with cannonballs to breaking up sword fights, praying for a “dead” student for days until he woke up, and his keen sense of foreboding when a tragic event approached, his story is a fascinating read. It’s the story of a man committed to the gospel, prayer, and faith in Christ.
There is a heavier dose of emphasis on the Holy Spirit, prophecy, and extraordinary events in John Welch than in most of the Trailblazers books. Perhaps that is because he prayed so much, or because he resided in medieval times (and the history we have comes from that time as well). The book might present a good opportunity to discuss the Doctrine of Providence. However you approach the story with your children, I think it’s valuable historically and to help their understanding of God’s care for His servants, and the importance of prayer.
I love the Trailblazers series, and John Welch is a great read!
John Welch: The Man Who Couldn’t Be Stopped would coordinate well with studies involving
- The Late 16th Century and Early 17th Century
- John Knox
- The Reformation
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I’d like to thank Christian Focus Publications for giving me a copy of John Welch by Ethel Barrett in return for my honest review, and a copy for a giveaway!
You can find John Welch: The Man Who Couldn’t Be Stopped and the other biographies in the Trailblazers biography series for 8-14 year olds at
Other Christian Focus Trailblazers & Torchbearers books reviewed on Thinking Kids
- Hannah More: The Woman Who Wouldn’t Stop Writing
- Robert Moffat: Africa’s Brave Heart
- Brother Andrew: Behind Enemy Lines
- Fanny Crosby: The Blind Girl’s Song
- Nate Saint: Operation Auca
- John Knox: The Sharpened Sword
- Michael Faraday: Spiritual Dynamo
- Mary of Orange: At the Mercy of Kings
- John Stott: The Humble Leader
- Titanic The Ship of Dreams: John Harper
- Frances Ridley Havergal: The Girl Who Loved Mountains
More Books for 8-12 Year Olds Reviewed at Thinking Kids
- History Lives Christian History Series by Brandon & Mindy Withrow
- Guarding the Treasure: How God’s People Preserve God’s Word by Linda Finlayson
- Tough Questions About the Bible by Joel R. Beeke
- The New Astronomy Book by Danny R. Faulkner
- God’s Special Tent: The Story of the Tabernacle and What Came After by Jean Stapleton
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- Christian Books for 4-7 Year Olds
- Christian Books for the Middle Grades
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- 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.