Book Review: The Kids' Book of Devotions

When I initially decided to review The Kids' Book of Devotions:  A 365-Day Adventure in God's Word (Updated Edition), I was REALLY excited.  I'm always looking for new devotional material for my children.  

So, let me jump right into my thoughts.  Here are the things I like about the book:

In the back of the book there is an index of Bible verses by date.  I like that verses from most books from the Bible are covered at some point in time.  (A quick glance showed me that there were no verses from Numbers, Judges, and Philemon.  There may be other books for the Bible not represented, too. Not a big deal, personally.)  Additionally, I like that each devotional reading is short, sweet, and to the point. The readings are simple enough for children to read in one quick sitting, but they can also easily be used for a springboard to delve into a deeper discussion with an older child.  Certain excerpts really stood out to me. For example, One devotional talked about how the Holy Spirit is trying to bring righteousness, peace, and joy into our lives. That's great and a great thing for kids to focus on!  Another devotional talked about how someone's grandpa had died, but this person now had hope because he/she knew there would be a reunion with the grandpa in Heaven.  I love that!  Some kids who have recently lost a grandparent for first time may need to read this particular reading.  Other kids may be a bit more sensitive, which I mention later on. 

And, here's what I did not like about the book:

Although the comment about a grandfather dying is okay (at least in my mind, but it might not be okay for all kids), I noticed several other references to death:  Princess Diana dying in a car accident and a reference to someone taking someone else's place before a firing squad. Additionally, the devotional about Diana mentioned AIDS.  These are some pretty deep subjects. The suggested ages for this book are 7-11.  Some seven year olds might be sensitive to the mention of death, so please keep that in mind. Additionally, some eleven years olds may find the book too "cutsey" or childish.  Parents will have to decide if this book will meet the needs of their particular children.  I can't give a broad sweeping recommendation; I can just say that it's up to each set of parents to decide if this book is actually appropriate for your particular child or not.  

Additionally, well, honestly, I disagreed with some of the theology. The reader will have to make his/her own decision regarding those issues, also.  For instance, one devotional said that nothing bad happens to us unless God allows it.  I agree with that!  However, it went on to say that if God DOES allow it, then it is for a good reason.  Sorry, but I don't believe that God ever allows harm to come to us because it's for our own good. I do believe, though, as scripture says, that He causes all things to work together for the good of those who love Him, those who are called according to His purpose.  This is definitely a theological issue that each family will have to decide upon.  However, I find it interesting that this book clearly has an opinion stated.  Readers and their parents will have to discern what is truth and what is just someone's theological opinion. Granted, this is a good thing to do when someone reads any book...

Format:     Format is a subject/title heading, a Bible verse (written out, too...nice), a little anecdote/story/explanation, and then a little prayer.   The devotional book is written using the NRSV version.  Also, there is a devotional for every single day of the year.  

 

Rating:  3/5 stars.  My initial enthusiam regarding this book has waned. This book is okay. It's not really my all-time favorite devotional for kids.  I think it can be used, but cautiously and with communication involved.

 

Book Description

The NIrV Kids’ Book of Devotions revised edition is a 365-day devotional helps children learn God’s word everyday through a scripture passage, short message and prayer.

Kids need God’s Word every day to get strong and to stay strong! The NIrV Kids' Book of Devotions, revised edition is a 365-day devotional and a perfect source of God’s Word. It includes: a scripture passage from the updated NirV translation, a short message kids can read for themselves, and a prayer all in themes that help them learn more about God and his world.

With a Scripture index to help readers find devotions about their favorite Bible passages, boys and girls will see that God’s Word is relevant to their lives whether they need guidance about school or salvation, friendship or family, fear or faith. Ultimately, they’ll see that God loves them and wants them to grow strong … every day.

 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <http://booklookbloggers.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”