Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Marie Durand, not famous, but not forgotten either

If kids think biographies are boring, they probably haven’t read anything by Simonetta Carr. She sees each life as a story, and her Christian Biographies for Young Readers series is gaining more space on my bookcase with each title she releases. Although these books are written and illustrated to capture the attention of children aged 7 to 12, even my four- and two-year-old children crowd in to see the pictures and hear me tell them what’s going on.

I had not heard of Marie Durand before picking up this book. She didn’t write major theological works or start a revolution. In fact, her main claim to fame is that she spent most of her life in prison. At the young age of 19 she found herself incarcerated in deplorable conditions for one reason—she was a Protestant in Catholic France. In one fell swoop she lost her fiancĂ© and the hope of a normal life. Her youth and adulthood were snatched away as she spent 38 years in prison. She would never marry, had no children, and suffered much hardship. No wonder I hadn’t heard of her before! However, I suspect that she is more famous in heaven now than many of the better-known personalities in Ms. Carr’s series. And for that reason, it’s a book worth reading.

Everyone suffers trials. Even children. Marie Durand was only 19. Her story is one of much loss and heartache, but she resisted and didn’t give up her faith. Children need to hear stories of brokenness and courage as much as they need stories of conquest and victory because they will experience both. They need exposure to people and stories in situations vastly different than what they’ve experienced. It helps them grow. It teaches them that God will be with them through anything that comes their way.

I received this book in exchange for a candid review. The opinions expressed are my own.

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