Title: The Queen’s Smuggler
Author: Dave & Neta Jackson
Series: Trailblazer Books
Major Themes: Anne Boleyn, Bible, Henry VIII, William Tyndale
Synopsis: Will Sarah’s scheme to get William Tyndale out of prison work?
I discovered the Trailblazer Books in the early 1990s, soon after Dave and Neta Jackson began writing them, and enjoyed their method of introducing children to famous Christians in the past. Eventually, they start seeming to follow a formula, but it’s a formula that children seem to love. Each one features a 12-15-year-old, and usually both a boy and a girl of that age, who comes in contact with the historical character that the Jackson’s want to introduce. They experience a lot of adventures as they try to help the person.
The Queen’s Smuggler features William Tyndale. He is trying to translate the Bible into English. He has already completed the New Testament and as fast as they are printed, he has them smuggled into England by Sarah’s father. Now, William is living with Sarah’s family in Antwerp, Belgium while he works on his translation. When a new friend betrays William, Sarah’s father tries his best to get him released, but to no avail.
Sarah has an idea. She has thought of one more way that they might possibly be able to get William released. Anne Boleyn, who has been made queen of England since Sarah saved her life several years ago, wants Sarah to become her lady-in-waiting. If Sarah would accept her offer, she could, with the help of her cousin Miles who lives with them, smuggle a New Testament into England, and give it to Queen Anne, who could show it to King Henry VIII, who could then read it for himself and see that William Tyndale was doing something worthwhile! Would her scheme work? You will have to read the book to find out.
The Queen’s Smuggler is a good, easy-reading introduction to a man with the vision of getting the Bible into the hands of even the boys behind the plow, in their own language. This is an adventure story that will appeal to any boy or girl. My boys loved it and begged for more chapters; I think it took us only a week or so to read it!
WARNING: Chapter 12 describes an execution.
Listening Level—Ages 5 – 8, 8 – 12
Reading Independently—Ages 8 – 12