Review: The Boy Who Changed the World

My daughter was excited to receive a picture book to help me review, and, as usually happens, her brother was sucked into the story too!

The Boy Who Changed the World is a picture book by Andy Andrews, distributed by Tommy Nelson, that is based on the idea of the “butterfly effect” – that all our choices and actions, even little ones, can cause big changes in the world.  In the book, we get to read the stories of Nobel Laureate Norman Borlaug, Vice President Henry Wallace, Inventor George Washington Carver, and Farmer Moses Carver, and each of their good acts causes a beautiful butterfly to appear in the world.  At the end of the book, we see all the butterflies with an encouraging message that we, too, can change the world.

Both kids enjoyed the book at different levels and my daughter has asked to read it several times.

As you know, I do review for Tommy Nelson, a Christian publisher, even though we’re not a Christian family.  Sometimes I find the Christian overtones to be too much for us, but other times they are a more smoothly integrated part of the book.  Luckily for us, that’s the case with The Boy Who Changed the World – there is not a blatant Christian message throughout; most mention of the Christian god is kept to the end, which is fine for our purposes.

Review: Nelson’s Complete Book of Bible Maps and Charts

In our homeschool, we use Story of the World as a spine for history in elementary school.  As you may know, this is a series of history books which does try to cover many cultures and histories, but in the end has a strong Judeo-Christian slant, presenting stories from their bible as “history” and stories from other religions as “myth.”

Although we are not a Judeo-Christian family, I think it is important for my kids to grow up with an understanding of the stories in the bible because these stories are a big part of the culture surrounding us and are often referenced in literature and film.  I like my kids to have a little background knowledge of which “biblical” events are rooted in history and which are completely mythological, too.

We were given the opportunity to review Thomas Nelson’s Complete Book of Bible Maps and Charts this month, and I have to say that my son was completely fascinated with it, as he is with most any atlas or book of charts.  This book is more than 450 pages long and laid out to follow the order of stories as presented in the bible.  My son especially enjoyed reading a story in Story of the World and then being able to flip over to a map to visualize where in the world the story had been set.

I think this book gave us a really interesting addition to our home reference library, and I’m sure it would also be helpful for anyone else who is reading the bible or biblical stories in any setting, including for other families who are using Story of the World.

The resources include:

  • New, full-color, high-resolution maps and charts.
  • Downloadable PDFs of maps and charts for presentations and classes.
  • Tables, charts, and diagrams that organize Bible information for ease of learning and memorization.
  • Historical articles providing insight into Bible times.
  • Introductions to each book of the Bible.

We were given a copy of this book by Thomas Nelson in order to facilitate this review.