Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Book Review: 100 Extraordinary Stories of Prayer for Courageous Girls

About the Book:

Praying girls are world-changers! And this deeply inspiring storybook proves it!

Just for the girls in your life, ages 8 and up, this collection of 100 extraordinary stories of praying women of faith--from the Bible, history, and today--will empower girls to know and understand how praying women have made a difference in the world and how much smaller our faith (and the biblical record) would be without them. Featuring full-page, colorful illustrations alongside the true stories of praying women like Anna, Esther, Hannah, Anne Bradstreet, Shirley Dobson, Lottie Moon, Ida Scudder, Corrie ten Boom, Phyllis Wheatley, and dozens more, the stories of these 100 women will encourage and inspire girls to become the praying world-changers God created them to be!

My Thoughts:

I read through 100 Extraordinary Stories of Prayer for Courageous Girls: Unforgettable Tales of Women of Faith by Jean Fischer without my daughters. Normally, we’d sit down together and read through, but I plan to give it as a Christmas present.  Both of my daughters (ages 7 & 4) enjoyed its predecessor 100 Extraordinary Stories for Courageous Girls and I’m pretty sure they’ll enjoy this as well.

While reading though 100 Extraordinary Stories of Prayer for Courageous Girls, I noticed some overlapping stories between it and its predecessor. So, I pulled out my daughters’ copy of 100 Extraordinary Stories for Courageous Girls and compared the two.  It’s the same format with a story on the left page and an illustration on the right page. While some of the stories are basically the same, the narrative is worded differently and the illustrations are different.

Things I liked:
  • The built-in bookmark!
  • The emphasis on prayer. Some entries focus on a woman’s specific prayer that was answered. Others focus on someone who was known for praying, but are more biographical rather than citing a specific request and answer.
  • The diversity. The stories included people from different faiths – Evangelical Christians, Catholics, Quakers, and Puritans. It included several women who stood up to racism and fought for racial equality. It advocated for gender equality and cited examples of female preachers. (Which some readers may disagree with.)

Things I did not like:
  • In the original 100 Extraordinary Stories for Courageous Girls, it would give the story and usually ask a question for reflection. However, in 100 Extraordinary Stories of Prayer for Courageous Girls, there was often an imperative at the end of the narrative. I felt like the author took these women and their personal callings and twisted it to create a principle that applied to everybody. Because of that, when I read through this with my girls, I will be sure to examine and discuss those statements with them.
  • The story of the Canaanite woman who cried out to Jesus to heal her daughter. This story has been interpreted in many different ways and I found the message in this book pretty revolting: “Sometimes when you pray, God will ask you to be like the Canaanite woman, to be like a patient dog at a dinner table.” (Pg. 30). This just didn’t sit well with me. If I’m a child of God, then I’m a child of God – not a dog (even if it’s a beloved lap dog).  Frankly, I don’t like the message it sends to my daughter and I really wish the author had left this story out. 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of the book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.

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