This comprehensive, accessible guide to the history of the Bible in graphic-novel format will have young readers referring to it again and again.
*The Book of God: How we Got the Bible by Ben Avery, artwork by Javiar Saltares. Kingstone Media, 2012, 124 pages
Reading Level: Middle Grades, ages 10-12
Recommended for: ages 12-up
“This is the story of how the Bible came to be: who wrote it, when, and why. How it was collected and translated.” I never imagined recommending a “comic book” as a reference volume until I encountered this one. The author actually makes good on the wide scope promised in his introduction by dividing the material into four sections: Production guides us through each book, its probable author, setting, content, and purpose. Process tells how it each book was examined and approved for canonization, with a primer on textual criticism. Preservation charts how the text was copied, kept, translated, and spread abroad. Finally, Proof gives convincing evidence for the Word’s accuracy, reliability, and increasing relevance. Our guide for all this is the nameless scholar pictured on the cover, who is not only a scholar, but a believer. His obvious African heritage emphasizes that the Bible is for all nations and all peoples.
Though I’m not an expert on the subject, the material appears to be thoroughly researched and documented. That’s the most important value. The second is this: it’s a graphic novel. In our picture-oriented age, this is golden. For middle-grade kids who would rather read comics than novels, or college kids who grew up without a single book in the house, The Book of God reaches out and invites them in one panel at a time. The artwork, as for many graphic novels, is a bit uneven; on some pages brilliant, on others simply workmanlike. But the presentation is dynamic and unique, and the information priceless. It’s way too much to process in a single setting, so get the book and keep it on the shelf for quick reference; it will be worth every penny.
Overall rating: 5 (out of 5)
If you’d like a little more information, here’s the book trailer, care of Kingstone Media: