Title: The Great Book Series
Author: Brooke Brubaker, Elsie Singmaster, Anne Hilty
Major Themes: Amish, Mennonites, Ephrata Cloister, Martyrs Mirror, Pennsylvania, Lancaster County, Picture Books, Christian Non-fiction, American Revolution
Synopsis: This series of three gorgeously-illustrated hardcover picture books tell the story of the American Revolution from a unique perspective.
In the past few years, a number of books have been published about American history from the perspective of the peace churches—the Amish, Mennonites, and Brethren—in Pennsylvania. I appreciate having these books. So many stories are available from a secular perspective, but I am very thankful to have some that tell the other side of the story, from the perspective of those who want to follow Jesus and His teachings of turning the other cheek and of not resisting evil. The Great Book Series makes some of these stories accessible to young children. These three books describe the translation and printing of the Martyrs Mirror in German for the young people of the Amish and Mennonite churches in Lancaster County, and then the fate of those books during the war. All three books have durable hardcover bindings, and are illustrated on every page with gorgeous full-color oil paintings. They are a treasure to have on our shelf, both because of the contents and also because of their sheer beauty!
A Single Page tells the story of a grandfather and his grandson traveling to Ephrata to purchase their own copy of the Martyr Book. Along the way, Andrew learns how the book was translated and printed, and then he has the challenge of applying its teachings to his own life.
In Clouds of War, the Continental Army requisitions the printed Martyr Books from the Ephrata Cloister to be used for gun wadding. Though the brothers of the Cloister plead for mercy, the unrelenting sergeant takes the precious volumes away.
Samuel’s Choice tells the story of the Revolution through the eyes of a young boy who grows up during those turbulent years and experiences injustice at the hands of the Continental Army. He also gets involved with helping care for wounded and sick soldiers—and then, years later, has the joy of helping to retrieve some of the precious Martyr Books!
Read Aloud—Ages 5 – 8
Reading Independently—Ages 7 – 9, 8 – 12