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Charles Spurgeon: Prince of Preachers (Trailblazers) Paperback – July 20, 2006
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At night I've been reading my kids a biography of Charles Spurgeon by Christian Timothy George. It's in the Trailblazers series for children published by Christian Focus. They have biographies of great saints from Church history ranging from Jonathan Edwards and John Calvin to Bill Bright and Martyn Lloyd Jones...I'm impressed by the books that Christian Focus is putting out. If you have children, be sure to check them out. (Josh Harris ~ Senior Pastor, Covenant Life Church, Gaithersburg, Maryland)
Famous preacher of the 19th century
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Top Customer Reviews
Overall, the book was very well-written. Here is an example of the author's masterful manipulation of words:
"Closing her eyes, she touches the window to feel the fury of the winter weather. A shiver runs down her spine. Snowflakes dance outside, following the wild movement of the wind. She dreams of dancing too, dancing outside in the snow, to the rhythm of the icy air."
The one problem I had with the book was the liberty the author took "fictionalizing" Spurgeon's bio... until I realized Trailblazer books were historical fiction. With historical fiction, the challenge is providing enough historical detail to remain true to the subject and characters, while providing entertaining fictional themes to draw the reader in. I understand that biographies usually lack color and dialogue, so in order for an author to make characters compelling, mere historical information is not adequate for the purposes of telling the story. I appreciate Christian George's artistry in weaving a tall-tale about the Queen of England in with the life of The Prince of Preachers (chapter 1 and 10), culminating in the harmonization of life events in a character-driven conclusion.
What is especially helpful about this book is that it seeks to teach the young reader biblical truth and ethical values. Throughout the story, there are moments where the author presents an interaction between Spurgeon and another character. His wisdom and humor shine through to us as we witness pastoral advice and charisma. George's book is also useful in that it includes multiple appendices, including a timeline of major historical events with significant moments of Spurgeon's life.
Overall, I would say this is a great introduction to the life and ministry of Charles Haddon Spurgeon. I look forward to reading this to my children and will encourage them to read it themselves when they are able. Christian George does a great job of grabbing the attention of the reader and holding it throughout the entire book.
I was given a free copy of this book for the purpose of review. I was in no way coerced to write a favorable review.
I have long enjoyed reading Spurgeon quotes and used them frequently on my Facebook page, but never found the time to read about the man. While this was a historical fiction for youth, it was inspiring to read about a man who was so gifted in the way he proclaimed God to the masses. The writer showed a man who was able to personalize the Gospel for the everyday man & rattle the old school & "traditional" Anglican church. Spurgeon's love for telling people about Jesus was even illustrated with having him leave his bride waiting at the altar while he evangelized' The book did not focus on all the sunshiny parts of Spurgeon's life though, it also included his bouts with depression, & his troubles with gout.
The book was all tied up neatly with the story beginning and ending with Queen Victoria disguising herself to go out and see this great preacher. Now while that is surely part of the fiction of the book, I found it a wonderful way to show what a draw this man had on all walks of life, from the elite to the poorest orphan who charged a bench tax, to the maid desperate to learn.
One of the things I enjoy about the Trailblazer books is that they all end with a brief historical summary of the subject of the book & a timeline of their life, and discussion questions. So these books are perfect for incorporating into your homeschool curriculum! I was very blessed to have the opportunity to review this book & learn more about this great man in the process and look forward to finding out more about him!