When Heroes & Villains of the Bible: Real Stories, Actual Bible Text (compiled by Tama Fortner) was delivered to our home, my eight-year-old, who had anticipated its arrival, grabbed it and retreated to her room. It was a few weeks before I got it back to read for myself!
This book is full of Bible stories from the International Children’s Bible. I had never read that translation before, but I enjoyed its simplicity. Before and after each story are boxes with explanations and thought-provoking questions, and most stories have beautiful illustrations. Finally, each story has a “Heroes” statement to drive the point home. Whether the Bible story is about a hero or a villain, the last statement points out God’s standards for heroes. Here are some examples:
- Forgiving others is what heroes do.
- Real heroes know that true strength comes from God.
- Heroes know that God will give them the strength to do what is right.
- Heroes give . . . and get . . . second chances.
- Heroes give to please God, not to be praised.
Honestly, other than the fact that the Bible stories are actual Bible text, these “Heroes” statements are my favorite part of the book. I love that they’re short and easy for kids to remember—and hopefully to apply when they experience difficult situations. My daughter’s favorite part of the book was that her favorite Bible characters’ stories were included.
The only thing I didn’t like about the book is that the verse and chapter numbers were included in the stories. The Scripture references precede the text, and my daughter looked up several of the stories and read them in their entirety, since some of the stories are excerpted for brevity. For me, having the chapter and verse numbers included in the text was distracting.
If you have an adventure-lover in your home, you should definitely check out Heroes & Villains of the Bible. Tommy Nelson has made it an exciting volume families will treasure for years to come!