Title: Wilfred Grenfell: Fisher of Men
Author: Janet & Geoff Benge
Series: Christian Heroes: Then & Now
Major Themes: Arctic, England, Fishermen, Missionaries, Newfoundland, North Sea, Wilfred Grenfell
Synopsis: Wilfred Grenfell led a very adventurous life as he did God’s work in the North Sea and the Arctic around Labrador.
Our entire family enjoys the Christian Heroes books, so I like to read them aloud in the evening when Daddy is home. Since the chapters take me 10-15 minutes to read aloud, they make a perfect-length bedtime story. We all really enjoyed Wilfred Grenfell: Fisher of Men, even though it seemed to take an awfully long time to find out if or how he got off the ice floe! Yes, the first chapter relates the story of how Wilfred got stuck on an ice floe, floating out to sea off Labrador, as he was trying to reach a patient desperately in need of medical help. We had to wait till we were over halfway through the book to learn the end of the story (although I knew it already, since I had read his own account of it).
Wilfred’s father and mother were both on the staff of a school in England when he was a boy. He and his brother spent all the time they could hunting and fishing in and around the local estuary. He began medical school at age 18, and after being converted in a tent meeting run by D. L. Moody, he wanted to use his knowledge of medicine to help people. First, he joined the National Mission to Deep Sea Fishermen and helped the men who worked in the North Sea. Later, he went to Newfoundland and Labrador to help the fishermen there, and discovered his life calling. This book is a fascinating account of a life full of adventure.
We’ve found a couple of the books in this series somewhat dull, but that word certainly does not describe this one about Wilfred Grenfell! I heard cheering whenever I offered to read another chapter; no one wanted to miss hearing the story. I highly recommend this biography for family reading.
Read Aloud—Ages 5 – 8, 8 – 12, 10 – 13, Family Read Alouds
Reading Independently—Ages 8 – 12, 10 – 12, 12 – 15