John CalvinIn this attractive volume, Simonetta Carr introduces young readers to the life, thought, and work of one of the most famous Reformers of the Christian church. She tells about the life of John Calvin from his birth to his death, placing him within the troubled context of the sixteenth century. She also introduces Calvin’s writings in a way that children will desire to know more about his ministry and influence.Readers will come to know Calvin’s personality, his devotion to God and the church, and the personal challenges he faced. They will understand the struggles the early Reformed church faced at that time, not only surviving attacks of the Roman Catholic Church, but also achieving a clear identity and a unified doctrine. They will also have a glimpse of life in sixteenth-century Europe, stricken by pestilence, poverty, and wars. Simply written, and full of interesting facts, this book makes a great gift for children of this rich Reformed heritage.


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“Here is a reliable account of the life and ministry of John Calvin. It is so well written and well illustrated it will be an education and a delight for children.” Dr. Hywel R Jones, Professor of Practical Theology, Westminister Seminary California

“In her book about the life and travels of John Calvin, Simonetta Carr has provided Christian parents a valuable resource to educate their children in the older and far surpassing heritage of their Christian faith. While many men and women suffered a great personal cost to free man from superstition and empty ritual, John Calvin is without equal in telling men why the Scriptures, and in particular, the Lord Jesus Christ, is important to their life and well-being.”   Thomas McManus, Principal of Covenant Christian School, Chula Vista, CA

“The parents of four ourselves, my wife and I are eager to learn of new materials we can use and recommend. This is surely a resource that we would noise abroad. A translator of Reformed materials into Italian as well as a teacher, Simonetta is remarkably gifted. She knows the history and theology of the Reformation well, yet also knows how to ‘translate’ for our children. The Reformed community really needs this kind of edifying literature for our covenant youth.” — Michael Horton, Professor of Systematic Theology and Apologetics at Westminster Seminary California.

“In just about sixty pages, this book gives a brief overview of Calvin’s life, from the cultural and religious setting into which he was born, through his education and training, his years of writing and ministry, and his death. The author discusses not just Calvin’s life but also his impact, including his influence on the religious liberties codified in the American Constitution. It concludes with some suggestions for children who may wish to learn more about Calvin and with a series of interesting facts about the day in which Calvin lived. There are original watercolor illustrations or relevant photographs on just about every page.  This is a very good little biography of Calvin and one that does a very good job of speaking to its targeted age group. It easily held the attention of my six year-old and nine year-old children as I read it all in one sitting (though my two year-old fell asleep before I had completed the first page). It led to some interesting questions and answers afterward, as we discussed persecution, martyrdom and a life lived for God’s glory. The children seemed to enjoy the book a lot. I would recommend this book to any parent who is interested in introducing his children to the life and times of a great Christian of days past. I am hoping that this is just the first in a series of similar books.” Tim Challies, Author and leading evangelical blogger and editor of Discerning Reader

Frequently Asked Questions

Please use the contact page to submit your questions.

Question: Why are the illustrations in this book mostly in black-and-white?

Answer: This was the first book in the series. When I was sending book proposals, a publisher told me that if the book would ever be published, it would have to be a small, black-and-white, soft-cover book. I took his advice and passed on this information to my artist. Thankfully, RHB had a much greater vision!

From Readers

It was a cold January day. In a January full of futility. The earth’s vain attempts to bring forth snow burdened the year with disappointments, and our struggles to overcome illness were barely adequate. We were behind. Behind in life, behind in homeschool, and worn out from merely trying to get so far. And so it was that in our efforts to slowly get back to the elusive “normal” our homeschool endeavor for yesterday was to read this book and create a history card on John Calvin. As we read, we were caught up in the story of the life and challenges of another, freed from the solitary quarantine of illness to travel another time and place.
Carr’s simple language makes even the complex aspects of the story palatable; panacea for a somewhat muddled mind emerging from the fog of a five day fever. I did notice that this particular book seems to depend more on illustrations than other installments. I would have liked to see a few more location shots/ artifacts sprinkled in, but this is niggling. “A Steady Course in Adversaries” was where we heard it. The LORD speaking to us in our weariness, encouraging us in the burden of chronic illness that extends itself beyond the weekly upset of a horrid flu shared among family. Even small, forward progress, can be used by the LORD. Consistent hard work does pile up, over time. I think it was even helpful to the students to know the unique hardships of our family are perhaps, not so unique, but common to the human condition. To all this, I can confidently add that we learned about the Reformation and Calvin’s role in it. Carr’s sympathetic portrayal is human, informative, the kind of truth meets soul communication that enriches as well as educates. I highly recommend this book and the series. Now if you’ll excuse me, I think I will snuggle in bed for another needed nap. (Ebookwormy, Goodreads)