Monday, April 25, 2016

Christian Heroes: Then & Now Jacob DeShazer: Forgive Your Enemies – YWAM Publishing Review

Like every mom out there, I want my kids to be reading quality books that I know are filled with wholesome, safe content.  When the review came up for YWAM Publishing, I was excited to see what they had to offer.  As I started looking at who YWAM Publishing was, I realized we had already read many of the books they publish and we love them.  The hardest part for us was trying to pick which book we would like to read.   We finally picked the book Christian Heroes: Then & Now Jacob DeShazer: Forgive Your Enemies from YWAM Publishing along with the Digital Unit Study to review.  I knew when I picked this book to review from their many options, that we would be getting a great book about a real person with a lesson that we could learn. 

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I picked the book Christian Heroes: Then & Now Jacob DeShazer: Forgive Your Enemies from YWAM Publishing along with the Digital Unit Study to review because we had never heard of Jacob DeShazer before.  We knew nothing about his story, but it sounded like something that would really capture my son’s attention.  Jacob DeShazer was one of the famous Doolittle Raiders who first attacked Japan after the bombing of Pearl Harbor.  The mission of the Doolittle Raiders was to bomb aircraft factories and oil storage tanks in Japan to stop their military, but their mission didn’t go as planned.  Jacob DeShazer knew that his mission was extremely dangerous, but he never thought he would become a prisoner of war.  It was during his time as a prisoner of war that Jacob was given a Bible and he became a Christian.  God showed Jacob that he needed to forgive his captors and that he should be a missionary to the Japanese, which he did obediently for 30 years.

When we got the book, my son was happy to receive it since we have liked the other books we have read from YWAM Publishing in the past.  He began reading aloud through the book.  My plan was for him to read through a chapter each day and then we would use the Digital Unit Study to discuss the book and to dig deeper into the book.  As he began reading, he kept asking me if he had to stop reading at the end of a chapter because it was getting really good.  So I let him keep reading.  I can’t think of any time I have told my kids they had to stop reading when they are really interested in something.  My son was captivated by Jacob DeShazer’s story and there were several times when he was reading aloud that he would stop and ask me, “Did you hear that mom?  That was amazing!”  He truly enjoyed reading this book and learning more about Jacob DeShazer and his amazing life.  I feel like I can’t share the parts of the book that he really liked without telling you too much of the story and this is really a book that is well worth the time spent reading. 

Along with the book, YWAM Publishing sent us their Digital Unit Study to review as well.  This unit study is a very valuable resource to download to go along with the book.  The unit study has instructions for using the book and the study for classrooms and for homeschooling.  It is very detailed and gives several ideas and options of how you can use the unit study with the book.  It explained how you could use the unit study devoting maximum class time to it and how to use it using minimal class time.  We opted to use the digital unit study for a moderate amount of time.  We focused on the Key Bible Verses, some Social Studies, and the Chapter Questions.  There were 4 Key Bible Verses for the Jacob DeShazer book and I thought it would be really good for my son to learn these and see how they related to the book and Jacob’s life.  I gave him the verses to study so we could discuss them.  We discussed them before he began reading the book so that he could see scripturally where the book was going.  We discussed them again mid-way through the book to see if he had seen any of these verses in action through the book and then again now that he has finished the book.  He said he could see how they fit with the book.  We used some of the Social Studies work from the unit study, but we did not use all of it.  We looked up the places the booked talked about on maps to see where we were reading about, but we did not go into as much detail as the study guide suggests.  I definitely appreciated the amount of Social Studies the unit study had in it and felt like it could definitely be a unit that counted for Social Studies and I would have used it this way had we not already been studying WWII for our current History curriculum.  We did focus on answering the Chapter Questions from the unit study as I felt it gave us many topics to discuss from the book.  I had my son answer the questions and then we would discuss his answers.  Sometimes he wrote out his answers and then we had a discussion and sometimes we just discussed them verbally.  This gave me a chance to really see if he was understanding what he was reading, if he was learning the vocabulary used in the book, and how he felt about what was happening in the book.  We truly enjoyed this book and my son wants to read more about the Doolittle Raiders this summer, which is awesome because the unit study even lists more resources that you can read that are related to this book so we will definitely be checking out this area of the study guide.  I also truly enjoyed all of the options in the unit study guide.  It gives you so many more ways to use the book.  I do plan to also use this book with our Sunday School class too (we teach 4-6th grade boys) because I think they will really enjoy the story and we can show them how God used Jacob’s life to reach others.  When we read this book with our Sunday School, I plan to use the unit study guide as well. 
YWAM  Publishing published not only this Jacob DeShazer book in their Christian Heroes series, but they have several other great books in this series.  We love the Christian Heroes series in our house because they tell true stories of missionaries and how God uses them to reach others.  YWAM Publishing also has a Heroes of History series of biographies that tell the stories of the men and women who have changed the course of history.  We have not read any of the books in the Heroes of History series, but will definitely be checking them out as we do enjoy reading about real people.  You can find YWAM Publishing on their website, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and they have a blog.  You can find the Christian Heroes: Then & Now Jacob DeShazer: Forgive Your Enemies book that we read here and you can find the accompanying downloadable unit study guide here.  You should definitely check out YWAM Publishing and the amazing books they have to offer and in our house we definitely recommend you read Christian Heroes: Then & Now Jacob DeShazer: Forgive Your Enemies.

Please take a moment to go and check out my friends on the Schoolhouse Review Crew by clicking on the banner below.  The Crew reviewed many different books from YWAM Publishing.  I can’t wait to check out the reviews and see which books we will add to our reading list.
Christian Heroes {YWAM Publishing Review}

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