The latest biography in the Reformation Heritage Book series “Christian Biographies for Young Readers” has recently been released. This one, written by Simonetta Carr, is on Athanasius (d. 373), a bishop in Alexandria who was a leading contender against the Arian heresy. The book is just over 60 pages long, and, as noted, written in a way that children can understand. It may vary a bit, but I’d say this would work well for kids ages 10 to 13 (though adults will also learn much from it!).
I’ve really appreciated these books so far. Our church library already has the similar works on Augustine and Calvin, and I’m happy to add this one on Athanasius. Carr did her homework; the information is accurate and summarized in such a way that the main aspects of Athanasius’ life and ministry are clearly set forth. I also appreciate how it is straightforward – there are no tangents, side tracks, or forced application for today. Here’s a paragraph that will give you a little idea of its contents.
“When Constantine died in 337, the empire was divided between his three sons, Constantine II, Constantius, and Constans. Constantine II, who was in charge of the area including Trier, liked Athanasius and convinced his brothers to allow him and all the other exiled bishops to return to their churches” (p. 28).
This book also contains wonderful artwork, maps, a time line of Athanasius’ life, the Nicene Creed, and some “did you know” type questions. Though the larger size makes it somewhat difficult to store on a normal bookshelf, the hardcover is well-bound and the pages are thick and solid, so it should last a long time. I highly recommend this book on Athanasius, as well as the others in this series. I believe one important way to stay firm in the Christian faith is to learn our historical roots, and these books will help toward that end.
(My thanks go to the publishers for a review copy.)