Tuesday, May 1, 2018

C.S. Lewis Master Storyteller - Book Review

Our family was first introduced to YWAM Publishing about 5 years ago when we first started our homeschool journey.  We read several books about Christian missionaries from their Christian Heroes: Then & Now series and we enjoyed all of them.  I was thrilled when the Homeschool Review Crew was given the opportunity to review one of their books.  My two older children recently read The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe from the Chronicles of Narnia series and our whole family has watched the movie, so we definitely wanted to learn more about the author, C.S. Lewis.  We love adding Christian biographies to our studies so we were excited to review C.S. Lewis Master Storyteller, one of the books in the Christian Heroes: Then & Now we also received a Study Guide to use with our book.

*Disclaimer: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. That just means if you click on them and purchase something I will make a small commission from it with no additional charge to you. 

What Did We Receive?

We received the physical C.S. Lewis book and the downloadable corresponding Study Guide.

About the Book

C.S. Lewis Master Storyteller is a 192-page paperback biography by Janet and Geoff Benge.  It has 17 chapters, note to readers, and bibliography. 

C.S Lewis whose birth name was Clive Staples Lewis had a very interesting life.  His preferred name was Jack and that is what everyone called him.  The story starts off when Jack was six-years-old and gives great details of his life all the way to his last moments of life.  Without giving away too much detail, Jack encountered many sad events in his life starting as a young child and following him even throughout his adult life.  I learned so much about him that I did not previously know.  Like the fact that he was in the military and actually went to War. (World War I) 
His love for a special someone was no surprise, but I did not see the marriage coming.  Someone fought a battle with cancer and their strength is so inspiring!  C.S. Lewis died the same day as JFK, something else I did not know. 

My thoughts

Christian Heroes: Then & Now

This was a very interesting and sad read for me. The authors, Janet and Geoff Benge, did a phenomenal job writing it.  I love the broad view they gave us of his life.  Something that I took notice to was how a bad thing turned into a good thing.  He wanted very badly to get into Oxford college, however, he could not pass the Math and Science section of the entrance test.  He was able to take a few classes but would have to retake the exam.  He ended up being called into war.  When the war was over there was a new rule that soldiers returning from war did not have to pass the entrance exams.  So Jack was able to attend college.   
My heart saddened at how Jack's father, Mr. Albert Lewis pushed his boys away.  I wish he would have taken the deaths he encountered better than he did and been there more for his boys.  However, I'm happy Jack had his brother to share this life experience with.  Even so, when his father needed him he was on his way.   I am glad that they included how the Chronicles of Narnia came about (that's the main part my kids were waiting for) Overall, it was a good book packed with a ton of information about C.S. Lewis' life.  In my opinion, it is appropriate for kids ages 8 and up.  There is mention of death, war, and bodies being blown apart so take caution depending on your child's tolerance level on these things.   I would encourage you to order it and read, especially if you are a Chronicles of Narnia fan.

The Study Guide

We received the study guide as a download.  The study guide comes in 2 parts it gives you a ton of things to cover and discuss.

Part 1 is 82 pages, don't be intimated by the page number you can print and use as much as you would like.  The sections included are

The Introduction
Key Bible Verses
Display Corner
Community Links
Social Studies
Related Themes to Explore
Culminating Event
Appendix A, B, and C

Part 2 is only 3 pages and it includes a United Kingdom Factsheet and two maps.  We used the maps for labeling and coloring.

The study guide was well put together.  Two of the suggestions I like were using the Key Bible Verses as a devotion time with the kids, and the display corner.  I love how they organized the questions.  There are six questions for each chapter and they fall under the categories, vocabulary, comprehension, factual, and open-ended questions.  They are listed in order of difficulty having the easier ones listed first.  This makes it easy if you are like me and have kids who have a big range in age.  You can require the older ones to answer all the questions and the younger kids can answer the easier ones and do the harder ones if they want the challenge.   The answers to the first four questions are in appendix B and the other two questions are based on your child's opinion so you can read over them.
The study guide is very thorough and I was very pleased with it.

My oldest daughter and I read the Hiding Place, not too long ago and we now really want to read Corrie Ten Boom next.   

Christian Heroes: Then & Now

As always don't forget to check out what other awesome moms have to say about the many other books from YWAM Publishing.

Christian Heroes, Heroes of History & Study Guides {YWAM Publishing  Reviews}

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