We’ve had the pleasure of reviewing books from YWAM Publishing before, and Bookworm checks the books out of the library whenever he can find them. When he can’t find the title he wants, he asks the library to order them. We love YWAM books! This time we had the pleasure of reviewing Christian Heroes: Corrie ten Boom.
In addition to the book, we also received the Digital Unit Study.
About Christian Heroes: Corrie ten Boom
For those who don’t know her story, Corrie ten Boom lived in the Netherlands along with her immediate family and aunts. The house they lived in was actually two narrow houses connected together. They lived on the top floors, and the bottom floor was where the family watch shop was. Because their house was two houses connected together, they were easily able to build a hiding spot, which they did, to save the Jews that they could after the Nazi invasion.
I had already read the adult version of ten Boom’s story, and while it is tragic and heartbreaking, it’s also full of hope. I marveled at ten Boom’s resilience and deep, deep faith. While she lost so many of her family members and had to go through great hardship herself to help strangers, she did so. She and her family chose to fight evil. In the end, she even chose to forgive the Nazis.
This version by YWAM is written for children ages 10+. While the story may be softened a bit from ten Boom’s own telling of the story, this small change is necessary to accommodate younger readers and does not take away from the power of ten Boom’s story at all.
About the Digital Unit Study
This is our second time reviewing a YWAM book (we reviewed Heroes of History: Laura Ingalls Wilder), and I just appreciate the material more and more. The Digital Unit Study contains so MANY activities! There are Chapter Questions that gauge the students’ comprehension, but there are also deeper, more philosophical questions such as:
“Corrie told the Gestapo officer collecting the radios that they had only one at the Beje. Do you think she was justified in telling a lie? Why or why not.”
In addition, there is a Student Exploration section where students can choose from a variety of activities such as essay writing, arts & crafts, hands on projects, and language examples to demonstrate their understanding. Students (and/or parents) choose these based on the student’s interests and grade level. (Some assignments are more difficult than others and meant to be completed by older students.)
How We Used the Book and the Digital Unit Study
Our review period was approximately five weeks long, and during that time, Bookworm was able to read the book in its entirety and also answer the comprehension questions. We still plan on continuing with this study even after the review is over because he didn’t yet have a chance to do the Student Exploration assignments.
Since he loves geography, I’m planning on having him do this assignment:
“Draw a map of Holland and Germany. Using the list of places in chapter 6, label the map and illustrate the places Corrie ten Boom lived and the events that occurred in her life in those places.”
I’m also planning on having him do this assignment because we did it for the Laura Ingalls Wilder book, and it was a fabulous history tool:
“Make an illustrated timeline of Corrie ten Boom’s life. On the timeline, also record major world events, such as the First and Second World Wars and the stages in the development of the European Union.”
What We Liked about the Book and Digital Unit Study
I enjoyed reading the story again, and I also love that there are so many activities in the Digital Unit Study that there is no way a child can complete them all. (YWAM Publishing explicitly states this, also.) There is so much variety to choose from so that your child will really enjoy the assignments.
Bookworm thought that the story was inspiring and was written in such a way that he wanted to keep reading the book to see what was written next. He also enjoyed that the book explained what happened to ten Boom after she was released from the concentration camp, though he would have liked to have known more about her life afterward. After all, the portion of her life when the Netherlands was invaded until the war was over, while the most eventful, was only a small portion of the 90+ years she lived.
What We Disliked about the Book and Digital Unit Study
Bookworm thought that some questions were philosophical and difficult to answer. (As a parent, that definitely wasn’t a negative.)
He also mentioned that initially, the plot was a little bit confusing because the book opened with ten Boom’s admission to the concentration camp as the first event, and then went back in time to show how she got there.
There was nothing that I disliked. In fact, this review just cemented for me how much I like these books. Bookworm likes them, too, and we’ve already discussed ways we can implement more of them into our studies next year.
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I was one of 100 reviewers to review a variety of YWAM Publishing books including those from both their Christian Heroes studies and those from their Heroes of History. Click on the link below to read more.