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How Critical is a Critical Perspective?

13 Dec 2014 / 0 Comments / in Uncategorized

OK, I admit it, the title is an attempt to sound clever. Ideally, yes, a critical perspective of history is important. How to maintain it in a short biography for relatively young children (ages 7-10) is another story. This reflection was prompted by a great review by Daniel Cooley (Jonathan Edwards Center at TEDS) of my book Jonathan Edwards. At […]

Second Mini-Contest

10 Oct 2014 / 0 Comments / in Uncategorized

Here is another short contest. It might be easier for those who already have these books. In each of the first seven books in the series (John Calvin, Augustine, John Owen, Athanasius, Jane Grey, Anselm, and John Knox) there is a (truly!) unintentional mention of Italy or of Italians. Once again, Jonathan Edwards breaks this habit […]

Mini_Contest Winner

10 Oct 2014 / 1 Comment / in Uncategorized

The first contest is over. The pattern was J-A-J-A-J-A-J (following the first name of each character). Edwards breaks the pattern with another J. I have received other interesting answers. Anyhow, the winner for this contest is Marguerite Harrell. Don’t despair. I have another contest coming up!


05 Sep 2014 / 12 Comments / in Uncategorized

The last attempt to run this mini-contest failed. For some reason, I didn’t get any entries even if people told me they sent them. So here are some new rules: 1.  Look at the titles of the first seven books in the series as they are listed in the CBFYR tab on the website and see […]

Anselm of Canterbury Wins Best Biography

24 Jun 2014 / 0 Comments / in Uncategorized

I was caught by surprise when Anselm of Canterbury won the San Diego Book Award for Best Published Biography. It’s a great honor, especially considering the other finalists in the same category have presented very valuable books. Winners were announced at the Twentieth Annual San Diego Book Awards Ceremony (2014) in San Diego, California. Anselm of Canterbury has already […]

Winners of the 32-Author Giveaway

09 Dec 2013 / 0 Comments / in Uncategorized

First of all, thank you for participating to the 32 Author Scavenger Hunt! I was happy to “meet” so many new people. I hope you will stay tuned to this blog or our social media accounts. I am sure most of you have already found out, but here are the results of the 32-Author Giveaway. […]

Three-Ladies Giveaway Winners

07 Dec 2013 / 0 Comments / in Uncategorized

                      My Three-Ladies (Lady Jane Grey, Renée of France, and Olympia Morata) Giveaway has come to a close. The winners of the set of three books were chosen randomly (I used with my 16-year old son as a witness) among the names of those […]

32 Author Scavenger Hunt Stop #5

29 Nov 2013 / 46 Comments / in Uncategorized

Hello Scavengers!   I am glad to see you have made it to the fifth stop on the 31 Author Scavenger Hunt! By now you have learned how this works, so relax and enjoy this interesting article by Donita K. Paul on what makes a classic. For those who have just discovered the hunt by […]

Renée of France – Book Club Notes and Promotion

26 Nov 2013 / 0 Comments / in Uncategorized

About a month ago, a group of ladies from our church met for their quarterly Book Club meeting. This time they discussed my book, Renée of France (EP, 2013). I led the discussion. I must admit I was not really prepared, but it didn’t matter. I only had to ask one question (what did you […]

A Special Review

22 Oct 2012 / 0 Comments /

I love it when young people review my books. After all, they are written for them! This is a review written by  Katharine Olinger. Katharine is already a teenager, but still close to the book’s target age and, as you will see, has great writing skills. This review was published in the November 2012 issue of New Horizons in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church and is reprinted here with the editor’s permission.

I appreciate how Katharine pointed out her favorite aspect of the book. This type of reviews helps me to decide what features to emphasize or even omit from future titles. Thank you, Katharine!

Lady Jane Grey, by Simonetta Carr. Published by Reformation Heritage Books, 2012. Hardback, 63 pages, list price $18.00. Reviewed by OP member Katharine Olinger.

“Live to die, that by death you may enter into eternal life, and then enjoy the life that Christ has gained for you by His death. Don’t think that just because you are now young your life will be long, because young and old die as God wills” (p. 61). These were some of the last words of Lady Jane Grey—seventeen years old and facing execution.

In Simonetta Carr’s new book, Lady Jane Grey, the life of this young English monarch is painted clearly for the young reader, both figuratively and literally. It is not a black-and-white chapter book, but rather, because it is meant to be interesting to readers aged 7–12, it is thoroughly illustrated with vibrant paintings as well as photographs and sketches. And yet how could Jane’s story be suitable for young readers? She ruled for only two tumultuous weeks before being usurped by Bloody Mary, and six months later she was executed. Wouldn’t a story of success be a better guide for children growing in their faith? When Carr subtly addresses this issue, she does it well, pointing to Jane Grey’s own words and letters, such as, “Strive, then, always to learn how to die” (p. 62). Carr explains that Jane’s story “encourages many Christians with the thought that the same God who preserved and strengthened Jane’s faith until the end will do the same for all His children” (p. 54). 
My favorite aspect of Lady Jane Grey is the author’s use of original sources, such as Jane’s heartfelt letter to her sister. It’s one thing to read an account of her childhood and execution, but to read the dying advice of one sister to another, sisters by birth and faith, is quite another. This book would be a fine addition to any church or home library of one who is seeking to educate children in the way they should go, no matter what God intends for their lives.