Title: Florence Young: Mission Accomplished
Author: Janet & Geoff Benge
Series: Christian Heroes: Then and Now
Major Themes: Australia, China, Florence Young, Indentured Servants, Missionaries, New Zealand, Solomon Islands
Synopsis: Florence Young spent her life spreading the message of Jesus to people in China and the Solomon Islands.
I know, when I start a Christian Heroes story, that my family will want to hear it. I had never heard of this particular missionary before we started reading Florence Young: Mission Accomplished. She had quite a fascinating life.
Born in New Zealand, at the far south end of the South Island on which we live right now, Florence Young’s family traveled to England for a few years, then returned to New Zealand. They moved back and forth between Australia and New Zealand a few times, and eventually Florence found herself living on her brothers’ sugar plantation in Queensland, Australia. The work was done by Kanakas, indentured servants from the Solomon Islands. When she realized that these men had never heard of the Christian God, she began to teach them to read—and in the process, to teach them about God, as well. She spent a few years working in China with Hudson Taylor, but when the Boxer Rebellion broke out she went back to Queensland. After a few years, however, the Australian government passed legislation to put an end to the use of Kanakas in the sugar plantations, and Florence began a mission to take the gospel to the Solomon Islands.
We did not find Florence Young to be quite as well-written as most of the other Christian Heroes books we’ve read. When we discussed what made the difference, we concluded that it was the lack of dialog. The story is merely told, with very little conversation. It was still a very good story, just not as captivating as the others we’ve read in this series.
WARNING: Chapters 13 and 15 discuss the revenge killings that were quite prevalent at the time in the Solomon Islands, including one instance of cannibalism.
Read Aloud—Ages 8 – 12, 10 – 13, Family Read Alouds
Reading Independently—Ages 8 – 12, 10 – 12, 12 – 15, 15 and Above, Adults