I want to thank Christian Focus Publications for providing a copy of At the Mercy of Kings for me to review. As always, my opinions are my own. 🙂
This was originally written in 2012.
Last year, the boys and I studied the Protestant Reformation.
In the midst of all the wars, debates, and–oh yes–wars, wars and more wars, stood a man called William of Orange. We did a lot of reading about William (as well as reading about Mary’s grandfather, uncle, and father), but I never gave much thought to his wife, Mary Stuart II.
That is, not until this week.
Mary of Orange
I love biographies that broaden and enrich our understanding of history, particularly Christian history. I especially enjoy reading aloud middle grade biographies that are engaging and give children an opportunity to envision themselves in a particular time in the past.
With At the Mercy of Kings: Mary of Orange, Linda Finlayson has given children the chance to join Princess Mary of Orange as she grows up, is given in marriage to a man she does not know, and steps into the duties of the wife of the stadtholder of the Netherlands.
Later, children experience Mary’s angst as her husband overthrows her father’s kingdom and she becomes Queen of England, Ireland and Scotland alongside her husband who becomes King. Mary co-rules while William spends his time both in the Netherlands, and in England.
Real Life Princess of the Protestant Reformation
Your children will read about Mary’s thought process as she chooses the Reformed faith over the Roman Catholic Church. This religious battle is at the core of the storyline between kings, and it naturally plays a large role in Mary’s life. The book is written from a Reformed perspective.
Mary was a real life princess, and–later–a real life queen. Her impact on the faith of those in Europe during the Protestand Reformation was quiet yet profound.
Author Linda Finlayson has a fantastic voice, and she’s chosen to write Mary’s story in an entirely narrative manner. At the Mercy of Kings is written in the same way a middle grade novel would be, with dialogue, and emotions and thoughts from the main character. This allows children to feel as though they’re living the story along with Mary.
At the Mercy of Kings is part of the Trail Blazers series from Christian Focus Publications, recommended for ages 7-14. Our family loves these narrative biographies, as they allow us to delve into Christian history, and to live with the characters for a short while.
As we study history further, our knowledge of key figures in Christian history provide a hook, if you will, on which to hang additional knowledge. We recognize and understand periods of time better because we’ve studied the people within those stretches of history.
Purchase At the Mercy of Kings: Mary of Orange
Christian Book: Mary of Orange: At the Mercy of Kings
More Christian Focus Trail Blazers Books for Your Kids
Our family loves the Christian Focus Trail Blazers books. They’re perfect for ages 7-14. We read them as we studied history! Check them out.
Eric Liddell: Finish the RaceJohn Chrysostom: The Preacher in the Emperor’s CourtSamuel Rutherford: The Law, the Prince and the ScribeFrancis & Edith Schaeffer: Taking on the WorldTitanic: The Ship of DreamsWilliam Tyndale: The Smuggler’s FlameWilfred Grenfell: Courageous DoctorDietrich Bonhoeffer: A Spoke in the WheelElisabeth Elliot: Do the Next ThingBetty Greene: Courage Has WingsUlrich Zwingli: Shepherd WarriorLilias Trotter: Daring in the DesertIsobel Kuhn: Lights in LisulandJim Elliot: He Is No FoolGeorge Müller: The Children’s ChampionAdoniram Judson: Danger on the Streets of GoldPatricia St. John: The Story Behind the StoriesHelen Roseveare: On His Majesty’s ServiceJohn Newton: A Slave Set FreeJohn Calvin: After Darkness LightJohn Knox: The Sharpened SwordBilly Graham: Just get up out of your SeatRichard Wurmbrand: A Voice in the DarkMary Slessor: Servant to the SlaveJoni Eareckson Tada: Swimming Against the TideHudson Taylor: An Adventure BeginsAugustine: The Truth SeekerPatrick of Ireland: The Boy Who ForgaveBrother Andrew: Behind Enemy LinesLottie Moon: Changing China for ChristD L Moody: One Devoted ManNate Saint: Operation AucaJohn Welch: The Man Who Couldn’t Be StoppedMichael Faraday: Spiritual DynamoWilliam Wilberforce: The Freedom FighterC. S. Lewis: The Story Teller: Trailblazers SeriesJonathan Edwards: America’s GeniusCharles Spurgeon: Prince of PreachersGeorge Müller: The Children’s ChampionGeorge Whitefield: Voice That Woke the WorldAmy Carmichael: Rescuer By NightMary of Orange: At the Mercy of KingsMartyn Lloyd-Jones: From Wales to WestminsterHannah More: The Woman Who Wouldn’t Stop WritingFanny Crosby: The Blind Girl’s SongPaul Brand: The Shoes That Love MadeFrances Ridley Havergal: The Girl Who Loved MountainsCorrie Ten Boom: The Watchmaker’s DaughterGladys Aylward: No Mountain Too HighJohn Bunyan: Journey of a PilgrimDavid Brainerd: A Love for the LostJohn G. Paton: South Sea Island RescueBilly Bray: Saved From the Deepest PitJohn Stott: The Humble LeaderBill Bright: Dare to be DifferentCharles Simeon: For Christ in Cambridge (Trail Blazers)William Carey: Expecting Great Things (Trail Blazers)Jack Turner: Truth in the Arctic (Trail Blazers)Elaine Townsend: At Home Around the World (Trail Blazers)Thomas Clarkson: The Giant With One Idea (Trailblazers)John and Betty Stam: To Die is Gain (Trail Blazers)Maud Kells: Fearless in the Forest (Trail Blazers)Jim Elliot: He Is No Fool (Trail Blazers)Elizabeth Prentiss: More Love (Trailblazers)Polycarp: Faithful unto Death (Trail Blazers)Thomas Cranmer: The King’s Ambassador (Trailblazers)Olaudah Equiano: A Man of Many Names (Trail Blazers)
Bible Resources for Your Kids
Christian Biographies for Kids | Christian History for Kids | Theology for Kids
Christian History Matters for Our Kids.
History matters. Now, more than ever, we see how important it is for our children to know and understand history and the Bible.
- God is the sovereign ruler of all things. It’s important for our kids to see his hand in the history of nations and in the lives of both peasants and kings.
- Christian history is the story of our family history. Our kids get to see how people who love Jesus follow him.
- Understanding history can help our kids learn historic and biblical theology. They learn what the Bible says and what that means for us. They also see when the study of Scripture has taken important turns that have changed the Church.
- Reading Christian biographies and history can be a wonderful way for kids to think outside their own time and culture. God’s Church spans centuries and includes people from every nation.
- Christian biographies help kids consider their own faith, walk with Jesus, and the impact their witness may one day have on others–and on history.
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