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John Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress

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Overview

This volume offers a superb retelling in contemporary language of John Bunyan's beloved classic, masterfully illustrated with fifty watercolor paintings by Barry Moser.

Here again is the tale of Christian's spiritual journey from the City of Destruction to the Heavenly Palaces, including the pitfalls and graces that threaten and fortify his epic pilgrimage. Matching Bunyan's flare for storytelling and vivid imagery, Gary Schmidt's new narrative also echoes the best of writers ...

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Overview

This volume offers a superb retelling in contemporary language of John Bunyan's beloved classic, masterfully illustrated with fifty watercolor paintings by Barry Moser.

Here again is the tale of Christian's spiritual journey from the City of Destruction to the Heavenly Palaces, including the pitfalls and graces that threaten and fortify his epic pilgrimage. Matching Bunyan's flare for storytelling and vivid imagery, Gary Schmidt's new narrative also echoes the best of writers like Dante, Sir Thomas Browne, E.M. Forster, J.R.R. Tolkien, and Nathaniel Hawthorne.

Even after three centuries, this odyssey of faith and human perseverance continues to engage readers today and now, more than ever, Schmidt's retelling of Pilgrim's Progress will delight and stir the imagination of readers over and over again.

The pilgrim Christian undertakes the dangerous journey to the Celestial City, experiencing physical and spiritual obstacles along the way.

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Editorial Reviews

New York Times Book Review
If any earthly power can restore Pilgrim's Progress to the children's library, this handsome version ought to do it.
Publishers Weekly
This masterly rendition of Bunyan's 17th century allegory issues a welcome invitation to visit this classic. . . . [Christian's] run-ins with an assortment of unsavory characters, monsters, seers and benevolent guides are brilliantly depicted in Moser's watercolor illustrations, which mirror the agelessness of Bunyan's moral. Author and illustrator produce a treasure sure to delight.
School Library Journal
The text is beautifully illustrated with Moser's colorful, realistic watercolors. . . . An interesting, accessible version of an old classic that many YAs have heard about, but not all have read.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This masterly rendition of Bunyan's 17th-century allegory issues a welcome invitation to visit this classic. While Schmidt modifies the vocabulary for a modern-day audience, he takes pains to preserve the spirit and artistry of the original text. His language is accessible if not invariably contemporary, as he tells how Christian leaves the City of Destruction in search of the Heavenly Palaces. His run-ins with an assortment of unsavory characters, monsters, seers and benevolent guides are brilliantly depicted in Moser's watercolor illustrations, which mirror the agelessness of Bunyan's moral. Author and illustrator produce a treasure sure to delight young and old. Ages 10-up. (Sept.)
Children's Literature - Dr. Judy Rowen
John Bunyan's classic allegory of Christian's journey from the City of Destruction to the Celestial City remains powerful, but it is infinitely more accessible in this retelling. We have waited 300 years for this retelling, which should stand us in good stead for the next 300. Barry Moser's illustrations give flesh to the characters that Christian encounters-the faces are distinguished by subtle nuances of expression that make them perfect depictions of Obstinate, Hopeful, Timorous and the others. The book is a handsome volume, printed on heavy, ivory stock in a two-column format; it would be the perfect gift for a teenager awakening to spiritual issues.
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up-Schmidt's retelling is much more accessible than the original version, which was written in the late 1600s. Although the number and extent of Christian's encounters with various temptations and trials on his journey to the Celestial City are reduced in this retelling, the flavor of his adventures is maintained. Schmidt has kept Bunyan's straightforward names such as Ignorance, Obstinate, Hopeful, Despair, Faithful, etc. for the players. The text is beautifully illustrated with Moser's colorful, realistic watercolors. His mix of both historical periods and ethnic groups is a fascinating way to extend the text spatially and temporally. For example, Christian is wearing a baseball cap but he also wears armor. Help is a portly gentleman in green overalls and a pinstriped shirt, while Evangelist is a distinguished African American in a white suit. An interesting, accessible version of an old classic that many YAs have heard about, but not all have read.-Kate Hegarty Bouman, Susquehanna Valley Junior High School, Conklin, NY
Carolyn Phelan
Schmidt provides a clear, simple retelling of Bunyan's allegory. In this classic story, Christian leaves his home in the city of Destruction and sets out to find the Celestial City. Nearly drowned in the bog called the Slough of Despond and almost executed in a city named Vanity Fair, he is helped by such characters as Evangelist, Goodwill, and Hopeful, and hindered by Apollyon, Despair, and Deceiver, as he makes his way to his heavenly destination. This beautifully designed book has large, heavy pages, each divided into two columns by a single, scarlet line. Moser's watercolor paintings, mainly portraits of the characters dressed in clothing from many eras and places, thoughtfully interpret the text. A beautiful edition, recommended for any library with an audience for the classics.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802850805
  • Publisher: Eerdmans, William B. Publishing Company
  • Publication date: 10/28/1994
  • Pages: 76
  • Sales rank: 1,423,585
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.36 (w) x 12.34 (h) x 0.56 (d)

Meet the Author

Gary Schmidt grew up in New York, close to the beaches of Long Island. He attended Gordon College and in 1985 obtained his Ph.D. in Medieval Language and Literature from the University of Illinois. Gary has written several children's books, a number of journal articles, and numerous critical reviews, in addition to having co-authored and co-edited several textbooks. His retelling of Pilgrim's Progress (Eerdmans, 1994) received a starred review in Publishers Weekly and was reviewed in The New York Times Book Review. More recently, his retelling of familiar Bible stories from the Old and the New Testaments in The Blessing of the Lord (Eerdmans, 1997) was named an ABA "Pick of the List" and appeared in Booklist"s "1998 Top 10 Religion Books for Youth." His novel, The Sin Eater (Dutton, 1996), received the Best Book for Young Adults Award. Gary currently teaches English Literature at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He lives in Alto, Michigan.

Barry Moser is the recipient of numerous awards for his work in such books as Moby Dick, The Divine Comedy, and Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. His work is represented in collections, museums, and libraries around the world, including The National Gallery of Art, the British Museum, and The Library of Congress. Barry lives in North Hatfield, Massachusetts.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 7 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 19, 2009

    Great Book

    Pilgrim's Progress is a very interesting book for all ages. Not only is it a great read, it's very attractive in appearance from the inside out. The book offers great illustrations that will hold the attention of young readers. The message in the novel is also easy for young reader to understand. This book can be uses as a tool in a school setting, or Sunday school to help individuals realize that life brings about different challenges and the thing we have to do is remember that we always have choices and it's those choices that will determine the outcome of our happiness. I would reccomend this novel to everyone.

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  • Posted March 25, 2009

    Great Book

    Pilgrim's Progress is a really great book. It has a message for both chilren and young adult readers. This book could easily connect to anyone's life. The struggle's that the main character Christian goes through are so familiar to people's everyday lives in general. He mentions so often in the beginning of the book how burdened he is and how he just wants peace. Who can't relate to this whether it's a child, young adult or adult. Whether it's homework, work or life everyone has some kind of burden. According to other reviews this book as been read in Sunday school classrooms, used to help in classroom management and just for self improvement. Anyone seeking self peace, I would recommend this novel as a guide.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 12, 2006

    Moving Portrait of a Christians' Walk

    I was already familiar with this book through my sister's retelling as a child. However, I loved and remembered the story into adulthood and wanted to find a copy. The original version is wordy and more difficult to process because understanding the language is more than half the work. I am so appreciative of this children's version. The story is a gorgeous analogy of the walk we Christians take with our Lord. It is moving in its entirety and gives such hope as to the faithfulness of God. It is a children's version but quite appropriate for adults too.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 22, 2004

    Consider it as a Sunday School resource, too

    I've read this book to my three children, each of whom loved it. I've also read it to Sunday School classes, an episode each week. The episode involving Apollyon is a great story to read for Halloween season. The best reason to read it to a class? The story and action are absorbing, and as a result I find the book is the best class management tool I have. The main reason to read it, of course, is that the book teaches the main outlines of a theology of salvation that mainline churches seldom emphasize today.

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    Posted October 12, 2012

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    Posted June 20, 2009

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    Posted March 14, 2010

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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews

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