Wednesday, November 4, 2015

When Lightning Struck! The Life of Martin Luther Review

When Lightning Struck! by Danika Cooley is a new historical fiction book about Martin Luther. Martin's entire life is covered. The story begins with his birth and baptism on the next day, the Feast of St. Martin. It moves on to his strict upbringing and education, the joys of marriage and family life, his fight to share Biblical truth, and events up to the time he dies. The story of Luther is told clearly, but is made interesting to captivate the reader or listener. The reader meets the Luther the man with all his questions, faults, and faith. It is designed for middle and high school ages, but slightly younger students may like it also. Adults may find it enjoyable as well.

The entire story of Luther is told with fast paced action, from Martin, caught in a thunderstorm, seeking shelter under a tree, praying to St. Anna to save him, to the very end of his life. It brings to life a period of history that sometimes is viewed as uninteresting and misunderstood.

Some of the features of  When Lightning Struck!

  • Vocabulary is not difficult, but very exciting to convey actions and feelings. Readers are brought into the story. It is easy to picture the action you read or hear.
  • The events of history are brought into the story as they impact Luther and his activities or actions. For example, Luther's response to plagues in 1503 and the mid 1520s, along with the Peasants war, are parts of the story.
  • Luther's writings and works are also prominent in When Lightning Struck!  His catechisms, the Augsburg Confession, his study of Romans and Psalms, as well as the translation of the Bible into German are all are part of the narrative. The reader also learns how much preaching and teaching Dr Luther did and the varied audiences that he addressed. 
  • An extensive list of sources that the author used in her research, which can be used as a springboard for further study. 

As the 500th anniversary of the Reformation approaches in October 2017, this volume will be a great resource for readers, young and old alike, who wish to learn about Dr. Martin Luther, a pivotal figure of the Reformation. However, I think for those readers who are familiar with Luther and his life and work, there may not be a whole lot of new information here. The story nevertheless is engaging and exciting .

When Lightning Struck! The Life of Martin Luther is available from Augsburg Fortress and Amazon.

To have some fun with the release of When Lightning Struck! there will be a Facebook Party on Tuesday November 10th at 9pm EST. You can learn more about the party and RSVP here.

If you haven't already entered the giveaway for a copy of When Lightning Struck! and many other great prizes, you can do so here. The winner will be announced at the Facebook Party.

Danika has also written a discussion guide (for grades 3-12) and 12 week unit study (for grades 6-12) to go along with When Lightning Struck! You can find both of them on her blog, Thinking Kids. At this time they are free!!

Also, to celebrate the release of When Lightning Struck! The Story of Martin Luther all Cobblestone Path Products and Bible Road Trip materials are on sale for 50% off through November 11th. Details can be found at Danika's Thinking Kids blog.

Affiliate links are used in this post.

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