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Posted May 6, 2010
Several years ago, at a homeschooling conference we picked up a copy of The Chimney Sweep's Ransom, about John Wesley, which is a book in this series The "Trailblazer Books" series. Each of these books is historical fiction based upon the lives of some great historical figures whose faith in God guided their actions in which fictional children (though some of the children are based on real characters too) come in contact with them.
Karen liked the one so much that over the last few years she has picked up several others at homeschooling conferences and from homeschool bookstores, including Spy for the Night Riders (Martin Luther), The Queen's Smuggler (William Tyndale), The Runaway's Revenge (John Newton), The Bandit of Ashley Downs (George Mueller), Escape from the Slave Trade (David Livingston), Imprisoned in the Golden City (Adoniram Judson), The Thieves of Tyburn Square (Elizabeth Fry), Shanghaied to China (Hudson Taylor), Trial by Poison (Mary Slessor), Risking the Forbidden Game (Maude Cary), The Hidden Jewel (Amy Carmichael), Quest for the Lost Prince (Samuel Morris), Listen for the Whipporwill (Harriet Tubman), and this one, The Drummer Boy's Battle which is about Florence Nightingale. There are probably over forty books in the series. Others are about Gladys Aylward, Mary McLeod Bethune, William Booth, Charles Loring Brace, William Bradford, John Bunyan, Peter Cartwright, George Washington Carver, Frederick Douglass, Spokane Garry, Johnathan Goforth, Barbrooke Grubb, Sheldon Jackson, Festo Kivengere, Dwight L. Moody, Lottie Moon, John G. Paton, William Penn, Joy Ridderhof, Nate Saint, Romulo Saune, William Seymour, Menno Simons, Marcus Whitman, and David Zeisberger. I suspect new titles are being added from time to time.
The books are fairly easy reading but quite interesting--in fact, when I finished The Drummer Boy's Battle about Florence Nightingale, I found it very exciting and enjoyable. I especially like the way they show that the deeds of many great historical figures in the past were motivated by their faith in God. In spite of the claims of Sam Morris, Richard Dawkins, and Christopher Hitchens, I do not see a lot of books detailing any "great humanitarian deeds" of people motivated by atheism. Given the wide array of character subjects, there will be ideas and practices presented with which various individuals might disagree, but generally these books are wholesome and inoffensive.