Friday, July 10, 2015

Marie Durand: A book review

from Christian Biographies for Young Readers
   I was excited to try the newest Christian Biography for Young Readers on Marie Durand by Simonetta Carr.  I'd previously reviewed the biography on Jonathan Edwards in the same series and fell in love with the style and detail.
   My book arrived in the mail and I set it aside until evening when it would have more of my attention.  That plan got derailed when when my daughter Mookie (age 10) couldn't sleep.  I gave it to her joking that either it would be so boring it would put her to sleep or it would help keep her up ;) The next morning I checked in and she had read the whole thing!  This is the kid who doesn't really like non-fiction.  If it is about a strong girl figure she'll give it a chance, but it needs to be really striking to get her attention. 
  Anxious to see who this Marie Durand was I delved in.  Marie was jailed for her Protestant faith in a time where the rule of the land was to be Roman Catholic or you were an enemy of the state.  The subject is timely since we are seeing an increase in persecution of the Christian faith throughout the world. I could personally identify with Marie because my grandfather's ancestors were French Huguenots who fled France prior to Marie's time and finally took sanctuary in the United States. 
translated "to resist" scrawled in the jail where Marie was held
    Marie remained in prison 38 years. Thirty-eight years where she ministered to those she was imprisoned with.  Thirty-eight years where she encouraged by correspondence those who were persecuted as she.  Thirty-eight years where she inspired those that visited her prison and wished to help her and her fellow prisoners in their plight.  What a woman!  Marie epitomizes all the strong characteristics that would appeal to my Mookie, a deep love of God, a love of writing, and a love of family - no wonder she couldn't put the book down. 
    These books are just fantastically set up: an intro to the subject matter, a body that is written like a story but just chalked full of excellent facts, pictures of the actual places and things that the main character was at or used.  The end of Marie's book contained a timeline, pronunciation key (for those tricky French words), a "did you know?" section, and a translated letter from Marie to her beloved niece Anne. 
    As a historian, I love these books for how they draw young people in to history and make it come alive!  As a homeschooling mom, I love using these because they point out the sources they come from and encourage the kids that are reading them to delve in more to the time by giving them a brief bit of information on either side of the time they feature.  As a reader myself, I enjoy being able to sit down for an hour or less and dig in myself and learn something new!
    I received this book free from the publisher and the thoughts and comments are my own and was not required to write a positive review. 

1 comment:

  1. This sounds great. We love the Simonetta Carr books and they are produced slowly to fit with what the children are learning. This is on the wish list especially as I, too, am of Huguenot descent.