Title: Spy for the Night Riders
Author: Dave & Neta Jackson
Series: Trailblazer Books
Major Themes: Martin Luther
Synopsis: Karl’s master, Martin Luther, is in danger; can he trust the girl who has been spying on him since before they went to the Diet of Worms?
The Trailblazer Books were a brand-new series in the early 1990s, when I started my bookstore. I remember buying the first two, wondering if they would be any good or not. I was pleased with what I found—a fascinating novel introducing a great historical character. After awhile, the books became slightly formulaic, but I still believe they are a good way to introduce great Christians of the past. In fact, I like them so well that I bought a CD containing PDF files of all 40 of the books. I’m hoping to be able to read most or all of them to my boys over the next few years. We finished Spy for the Night Riders today. One thing I like about them is the fast pace—we can easily get through one of these books in a week of read-aloud times!
Spy for the Night Riders introduces young readers to Martin Luther. We just read a biography of Luther, so the story included in this book was familiar to us, but I think it’ll stick much better now! This book stars Karl Schumacher, who works for Doctor Luther in exchange for schooling that he wouldn’t get otherwise. He suddenly starts noticing a girl who seems to be hanging around him and Doctor Luther in Wittenburg after he pulls the pope’s bull off the church door to take home to his master. Soon, Martin is summoned to Worms to appear before the Imperial Council, and of course Karl goes along as a stable boy. When the girl shows up there, too, and is obviously spying on them now, what should Karl do? Can he trust her, as she asks him to, or does he need to protect Martin from her, too?
Adventure, intrigue, and history—all mixed together. Knights and castles are included, too. If you want a good adventure story for either a boy or girl, this is a great choice.
WARNING: Chapter 1 describes the burning of a heretic. Might be too graphic for sensitive children.
Listening Level—Ages 5 – 8, 8 – 12, Family Friendly
Reading Independently—Ages 8 – 12, 10 – 12