I’ll admit I had a darker streak in adolescence when I gobbled up, you know, R.L. Stine et al. In retrospect, it was an attempt to grapple with things beyond my control. It was a way to consider serious topics in a safe but exaggerated way. I’ve never been alone in that respect, so I daresay this new release will really fit the bill for the eleven and up crowd: Not So Nice Bible Stories: Gory Deaths by Jonathan Schkade!
From the Press Release (soon to be uploaded to the CPH Newsroom here)
This Is Not a Book of Fairy Tales
Not-So-Nice Bible Stories: Gory Deaths Shows How Even the Hard Bible Stories Point to Christ
St. Louis, MO–There’s no escaping the fact that some Bible stories are harder to teach than others. Some stories in the Bible are not only hard, but downright gory. Not-So-Nice Bible Stories: Gory Deaths is not a book of fairy tales. Readers will not find many happy endings. It is a book of history—true stories of people who lived long ago.
“I was scared to write this book because I was afraid it would end up being all Law and judgment,” admits author Jonathan Schkade. “As I got into the stories, the larger redemption story kept poking its head up. Each story in unexpected places was constantly pointing forward to Christ.”
Written for readers ages 11 and up, the eighteen true stories included in Gory Deaths show how God’s justice smashes the sinful, the sinister, and the sneaky. Most significantly, the stories show how Jesus conquers death and gives life to all believers. Each chapter also provides trivia, fun facts, and things to think about, including the following:
- Why the story is in the Bible
- How it can guide your life
- What it shows you about Jesus
This is a book that will not glorify the grim, but set it in its proper place: the hands of God.
On a personal note, if anyone could tackle this project with good Lutheran grace, it’s got to be Jonathan (whose last name is pronounced “Skah-dee” and rhymes with body). When I first met him through a good friend, I thought, “I’m so glad this guy is with CPH!” He’s born to write and be a generally good Lutheran guy. You might recognize his name as the author of Icky Sticky, Hairy Scary Bible Stories, but this “gory release” brings him up to ten CPH publications with his various Arch books and Little Learner Bible Stories! Check him out. His work is well worth it.
If kids are going to go through a gory stage, why not use the gifts God has already given us in Scripture? If gore is what they want, the Bible does not disappoint. At the same time, setting serious topics into a larger context and guiding good understanding is what we as Bible-believers—let alone as parents—want.
As for me and my house, give me Jesus. The real Jesus. Give me God’s Word, even if parts are hard to stomach. Because we do not want to censor the Bible by sheltering our children. We want “He who sits on the throne [to] shelter them with His presence” (Rev. 7:15).
Want freebies? Go here for a free chapter and wallpapers. Or, maybe you’ll consider making an extra purchase: there’s an accompanying downloadable Bible study for your middle-school and junior-high youth groups here.
Thank you, Jonathan! I really look forward to seeing this in print! The preview looks great!