Athanasius by Simonetta Carr
Carr, Simonetta. Athanasius. Grand Rapids: Reformation Heritage Books, 2011. 66 pp. $18.00. Purchase at Westminster for $13.50.
Simonetta Carr is no stranger to the readers of Christian Book Notes. She is the author of the Christian Biographies for Young Readers Series that is doing amazing things to bring the glorious history of the church to life for a new and much younger generation. You can read past reviews on the other three books in the series –John Calvin, Augustine, and John Owen. She has also been interviewed here. You can become a fan of Christian Biographies for Young Readers on Facebook, too. This particular volume in the series looks at the life of Athanasius.
Divided into five chapters, the young (an old) reader is introduced to a young Athanasius who is called to lead the Christian church during a difficult season. You will quickly discover that God called Athanasius during a special time in which he became one of the greater defenders of orthodox faith. Twice Athanasius was forced into exile and hid in the deserts for much of his life. In the end, the young reader will learn that the early church fought many battles to maintain a proper understanding of who Christ is. In this case, the doctrine of the Trinity was defended.
Included in the back of the book is a timeline offering the highlights of the life of Athanasius as well as a “Did you know?” section that gives some finer points and information that was alluded to in the body of the book. The author concludes with the Nicene Creed.
As usual, the story is well told and is engaging for the children. The colorful pictures and paintings help the kids to visualize the realness of what took place in the life of Athanasius. Matt Abraxas is the artist behind paintings.
Most impressive is Simonetta’s way in which she tackles the sometimes difficult life of Athanasius. He was a fierce defender of orthodoxy, but was also what I would call a firebrand. Regardless, the author does a wonderful job of showing why he was so beloved then and now.
While each book in the Christian Biographies for Young Readers can stand alone, Simonetta Carr is painting a beautiful mural of the history of the Christian church. I echo Michael Haykin’s sentiments when he wrote, “I am fast becoming a real fan of Simonetta’s writing.” The only change I would make is that I am already a huge fan.
I highly recommend Athanasius as well as the other books in this series to parents who are wanting to introduce true heroes to their children.