Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.
You and I are human, and we look on the outside of a person, but God looks at a person’s heart. He knows whether there is light or darkness inside the person, and that is what is important to Him.
-Corrie ten Boom
In our homeschool, we are always looking for exceptional chapter books to read aloud together as a family. And lately, YWAM Publishing seems to be my go-to for great family reads. So, I was especially pleased to be given the chance to review Corrie ten Boom: Keeper of the Angels’ Den from their Christian Heroes: Then & Now series.
I have always been fascinated by the lives of the people who endured the atrocities of World War II. But now as a multicultural mama with three biracial children, I see that a lot of the reasons people hated each other then are still the reasons people hate each other today–ignorance and fear. Judging someone on their outer appearance rather than getting to know them has created more divisiveness, I believe, than anything else. So, a book about a woman who saw people for who they are–created in God’s image–is a wonderful addition to our family library, in my opinion!
But this book isn’t just for me. My children have drawn close to me every night to read the next chapter in the exciting story of Corrie ten Boom, who lived through the Nazis regime in Holland during World War II. In fact, we have often read more than one chapter at a time because my children can’t wait to hear what happened next. All my children, from age six to eleven, sit quietly in their chairs listening to the story of this brave woman of faith and her courageous family. They can relate to being judged on the color of their skin and feel compassion for these people who were tortured and killed for doing nothing wrong.
Another benefit to reading this book has been its timeliness. When we began this book, we had no idea that we would wind up being quarantined and feeling claustrophobic inside our own home. But my children have been able to find joy in their current circumstances as they learn of people who had to hide in walls and under floors and in attics just to wait out a group of people who wanted them dead merely because they were different from them.
This book has no pictures, except for the colorful cover, but that has not mattered to my kids. They want to know more. They want to hear about someone who would sacrifice so much for people she didn’t even know. They want to understand how someone could have such strong faith in God that she would continue to be faithful even in the most dire of situations.
Whatever it took, wherever it led, Corrie ten Boom promised herself she would find a way to help these people.
We have chosen to read this book aloud as a family for our bedtime story. It’s a great way to talk to the children openly about how everyone can serve God where they are, even when circumstances seem bleak. It’s also a good way to discuss some difficult topics with younger readers. While this book is well-written for children and adults, the authors definitely do not shy away from the hard parts. I do recommend that you read this book ahead of time to make sure that it is appropriate for all ages in your family. Personally, I believe it’s best to present facts to our children and explain them at age-appropriate levels. We have had some wonderful discussions throughout the course of reading this book.
But if I had been given this book at the beginning of our school year, I might have made it a part of our curriculum instead. One of the benefits of the Christian Heroes: Then & Now series is that it comes with a complete study guide that can be used in a traditional classroom setting, homeschool, or even Sunday school. The study guide provides verses that support the text in order for the student to memorize Scripture as they read Corrie ten Boom’s story. Then there are six questions to accompany each chapter that focus on new vocabulary words and reading comprehension.
The study guide also gives some great ideas for creating displays or centers that will provide visuals to go along with the story. And the student exploration section is a great tool for older learners as it provides additional resources, essay questions, and creative writing assignments. And the projects are a great way to help your student learn more about the time period and region where Corrie ten Boom and her family lived. There are even arts and crafts ideas to offer younger readers as well. All in all, the study guide is a wonderful addition to the story as it provides a comprehensive curriculum that includes almost all subjects. There are also some worksheets included to add to your portfolio.
I am excited that my children have become so engrossed in the true life story of a Christian hero. I especially love to do unit studies over the summer months, and I will be sure to shop at YWAM Publishing to find our next study. They have a number of books to choose from that I believe my children will benefit from and enjoy.
But don’t just take my word for it. Check out some other reviews from the Homeschool Review Crew!