Title: Ten Girls Who Didn’t Give In
Author: Irene Howat
Major Themes: Anne Askew, Betty Stam, Blandina, Esther John, Judith Weinberg, Lady Jane Grey, Lysken Dirks, Margaret Wilson, Marion Harvey, Perpetua
Synopsis: The lives of ten girls who were martyred for their faith at a young age are described in this little book.
I’ve read a number of the Lightkeepers books now. Each one tells the story of ten different men or women, especially focusing on their younger life, whose lives were lived wholeheartedly for God. In that way, Ten Girls Who Didn’t Give In is like the rest, but in one important way, this book is a little different. When I first picked up this book, I wasn’t expecting to read about ten different women who were killed for their faith at a fairly young age—but those are the stories this book tells.
The stories in this book span the centuries from the very early church in France in the 2nd century, to nearly the present day. Blandina was a slave girl in Lyons, and both she and her Christian mistress were arrested. Perpetua lived in Carthage around the same time, and was also put in the arena with the wild beasts. Lady Jane Grey and Anne Askew lived in England around the time of the Protestant Reformation; Lysken Dirks and her young husband were in Holland at the same time. Both Marion Harvey and Margaret Wilson joined the Covenanters in Scotland and refused to go back to the Catholic church when they were ordered to. The last three girls in the book, Judith Weinberg, Betty Stam, and Esther John, all lived in the 20th century, in Russia, China, and India. All three of them also stood firm for their belief in God.
These stories are very inspiring. They depict real people who had real struggles in their lives but were victorious when put to the test. Each story also has some things to think about at the end, and a prayer to help you put the lessons from the girl’s life to practical use. There is also a study guide at the end of the book.
WARNING: Each of the stories tells of the martyrdom of the woman whose story is being told.
Read Aloud—Ages 8 – 12, 10 – 13, Family Read Alouds
Reading Independently—Ages 8 – 12