Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Book Review: Believe Series for Kids and Adults


Disclosure / Disclaimer: I received these books, free of charge,from Zonderkidz Publishing, for review purposes on this blog. No other compensation, monetary or in kind, has been received or implied for this post. Nor was I told how to post about them.
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As I mentioned earlier this am, many churches are forgoing the traditional VBS this year, do to lack of involvement by adults and kids, liability issues, and weather concerns.

But what if your church wants to involve teens AND kids over the Summer in a combined program?

I have JUST the thing for you (and something our church will probably implement in the Fall, as we start a combined youth group).


believe storybook cover

Presented by bestselling author and pastor Randy Frazee, the Believe Storybook shows children 4-8 how they can think, act, and be more like Jesus. With 60 stories from the Bible that showcase the themes, combined with captivating and dramatic illustrations, children will be inspired to become the person they were meant to be.

believe storybook sample


As you can see, the book has the bible reading, along with The Jesus Answer and an Act for the chapters- basically how Jesus would interpret the teaching of the bible chapter, and how can kids apply it in their own lives. The easy to follow along chapters, make it a good study book foe new readers, and one they can grow with. Miss Grace was able to read this one by herself and then answer the questions with me, so it would be a great family study book as well.


For kids ages 8-12, this is the second book in the series:
You know the story of the Bible, but do you know what it means? This kids’ edition of Believe teaches you the core beliefs, practices, and virtues of Jesus-followers so that you can understand how to live out God’s story in your own life today.
As you walk through the three big categories—beliefs, practices, and virtues—you’ll begin a journey that will take you closer to the heart of Jesus and deeper into the words of Scripture. You’ll learn what the Bible has to say about everything from the nature of God and the identity of Jesus, to prayer, worship, and the fruit of the Spirit. Each big category is divided into ten topics to give you an up-close look at the important things God wants you to know.

believe for kids sample


This next book is for kids who have gotten past early elementary, likely made a First Communion, and are strengthening their knowledge of the bible and starting to test and pull against the rules they have been raised with.  The chapters start with key questions, ideas and a bible verse, and then a box of something to Think About. This gets your child to thinking, before they start reading the discussion section of core truths from the bible. Each chapter ends with discussion questions that relate the chapter to your child's world, so they can easily see the application of the chapter. The questions are really great for getting to know HOW your child is thinking and to find out about any issues they may be haing. 

Chapters are related to What Do I Believe, What Should I Do and Who Am I Becoming? All topics that preteen and tweens are dealing with. This book will be the primary focus for our Youth Group, due to ages of the kids, but the topics will be applicable to all of them. By helping our kids this age get a better foundation of their beliefs, the teen years can be more focused and they will have an inner strength to call upon.

For ages 12 and up- It’s one thing to know the story of the Bible. It’s another thing to live it. The Believe: Student Edition teaches you the core beliefs, practices, and virtues of Jesus-followers so that you can understand how to live out God’s story in your own life today.
As you walk through the three big categories of Christian life—beliefs, practices, and virtues—you’ll begin a journey that will take you closer to the heart of Jesus and deeper into the words of Scripture. You’ll learn what the Bible has to say about everything from the nature of God and the identity of Jesus, to prayer, worship, and the fruit of the Spirit. Each big category is divided into ten topics to give you an up-close look at the important things God wants you to know. Relevant, practical, and deeply fundamental, Believe: Student Edition is a must-read for any student serious about their faith.
The Bible is more than just a book of stories. It’s a blueprint for living. Let the words of God change you as you learn how to think, act, and become more like Jesus.



This book builds on the Kids Edition and goes into more depth for the different topics. the chapters are again split into 3 sections- Beliefs, Practices and Virtues- what I believe, what should I do and who am I becoming. Once again the chapters start with Key Questions, Key Idea and a Key Verse, followed by a Map to direct the reading for the chapter. A Transition box follows with guides to help kids to conenct their ideas into what they believe. Then comes bible and core truth discussion.  


believefor students sample 2

Then reflection questions allow teens to really think about what they have figured out in the chapter and the chapter ends with a recap of What We Believe. The back of the book gives additional resources  like a reference chart of all scripture verses used. It would be easy to add movies, videos and songs, into the program, to make it more applicable to what the teens are listening and watching, and to give more real life examples of people holding fast to their faith and beliefs.
FREE Resources

Parents and teachers can download resources from the Believe website- a key concept chart of the key 30 topics covered in the books, samples of the student programs, and videos of theological discusions of the key concepts in the books.
You can also download a FREE sample of the ADULT version of Believe, to see how it ties into the kids books as well. You can also get a 31 day FREE readign program to go along with the adult version. 


About the Author:

Randy Frazee
img Randy Frazee is the senior minister at Oak Hills Church in San Antonio, Texas. Oak Hills is one of the largest churches in America, where Randy teaches and leads in partnership with pastor and author Max Lucado.  A leader and innovator in spiritual formation and biblical community, Randy is the architect of The Story church engagement campaign.  He is the author of The Heart of The Story, The Connecting Church 2.0,  The Christian Life Profile Assessment.. He also coauthored Real Simplicity with his wife Rozanne.  

About the Illustrator:

Laurie Lazzaro Knowlton
Laurie’s first published work was a note passed to a boy in elementary school. You would have thought that this most embarrassing moment would have stopped her writing career. But instead, Laurie is the author of thirty five books and author/illustrator of two more. Laurie lives in rural Ohio with her husband and two daughters and loves writing surrounded by horses, cattle, dogs, cats, and five turkeys.

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