My kids are in those tween years where it’s difficult to find Bible studies on their level. We can find individual devotionals and (some) novels. Family Bible studies, however, seem few and far between. There are a TON of materials for younger children and LOADS of resources for teens, but… well, we’ve found ourselves in a bit of a desert. Maybe I’ve just not been looking in the right places?
Nevertheless, when LitFuse contacted me about this book blog tour, I jumped on it. The sent me a complimentary copy of the book to review. They’re also hosting a pretty cool giveaway with the tour. Details on that below. First — more about the book and my thoughts on it.
Cold-Case Christianity For Kids: Investigate Jesus with a Real Detective
Published: David C. Cook, October 2016
Target Audience: ages 8–12 (and their parents or small group leaders)
About the Book (from the publisher):
Between the ages of 8 and 12, kids often start to wonder if Christianity is true.
In Cold-Case Christianity for Kids, detective J. Warner Wallace draws readers into the thrill of high-stakes investigation by showing them how to think rather than telling them what to think. In this children’s companion to the bestselling Cold-Case Christianity, detective Wallace gets kids excited about testing witnesses, examining the evidence, and investigating the case for Christianity. Includes author illustrations and links to a website where kids can download activities, fill in case notes, and earn a certificate of merit.
About the Giveaway:
One grand prize winner will receive:
- A copy of Cold-Case Christianity for Kids
- A Kindle Fire so your kids can visit the Cold-Case Christianity for Kids website and explore its many activities
- A shock-proof, kid-friendly, convertible Kindle Fire case (your kids’ choice of color)
Enter today by clicking the icon below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on November 4. The winner will be announced November 7 on the Litfuse blog.
My Take on the Book:
The whole premise of the book is a detective training academy. Kids join this club-like environment to learn more about police work. When one kid finds a skateboard at the school, the whole class follows an investigation to determine who owns it. They also enter into a parallel investigation of Jesus and His resurrection. The detective teaches them tools of investigation and fact-checking as well as reason and logical conclusions.
At first, I wasn’t sure I liked the book. I expected an interactive study, but received something more like a novel with sidebar questions and applications. Once I found the website, though, my opinion of the book changed. The online resources — videos, review worksheets and activities — greatly enhance the material. Resources for parents and/or leaders are also available through the website.
My kids (being 11 and 12) are at the top range of the target audience. The material seemed pretty right-on for them. It might be a little advanced for younger kids, but I think it’s a terrific study to do in a group.
- This book offers a solid introduction to biblical apologetics. The authors encourage critical thinking (though they certainly lead the discussion heavily) and introduce facts about Scripture and church history.
- The detective element is very attractive to kids. It pulls them in and makes them want to learn more. My kids loved this component of the book and videos!
- The content is accurate and well-thought out. It’s logically presented with solid supports both in history and Scripture.
- The sidebars offer a lot. Not only will readers find vocabulary and definitions, they also have “C.S.I. Assignments” with Scripture and questions to dig deeper and “Tools” for their detective bags. These are often resources or practices of logic and deductive reasoning to help kids think for themselves rather than just accept what others tell them.
- The online resources add a lot of value to the book!
- It’s attractive. The cover is colorful; the interior includes lots of illustrations.
- The chapters are short, but powerful.
- The instructions for the website and online resources should be at the front of the book, not the back. Reminder about online resources would be cool at the end of each chapter, too. The website is mentioned very briefly in the introduction, but it’s presented as bonus material rather than integrated companion tools. I didn’t find these resources until I’d reached the end of the book. If I’d known about them sooner, I could done them together and used them more effectively with my kids.
- The book employs second person point of view. In other words, the author writes about you, the reader, as if you’re part of the story. This may not bother anyone else, but I found it annoying, as if the author assumed all the actions and thoughts I would have in each chapter’s situation.
- Sometimes the author leads the readers too much. Yes, I know it’s written for kids, but I found myself at certain times wishing they would let the kids think for themselves a little more before giving a direct answer.
FINAL THOUGHTS: All in all, I think this is a great resource! It definitely encourages kids to think critically about their faith and the claims of Scripture. We need a generation that thinks and thinks well! Together with the online resources, this book could be quite powerful, especially if done with parents or in a small group.