Book Review: Bold Girls SpeakBold Girls Speak by Mary Stromer Hanson
Reviewed by Ruth Burton
This book is a wonderful collection of stories written for a young audience about girls in the Bible who dared to either speak up or work in difficult situations. The author has added beautiful fictional details to the stories so that the reader can imagine what life was like for these girls. She really gives the reader a sense of what the context was for these often-told stories. It’s clear that she did a lot of research on the culture of the time.
I especially liked the background on Rhoda, the servant girl who answered the door when Peter was knocking to be let in. I got a richer understanding of what it could have been like for a young Gentile girl who was a recent convert to Christianity and living in the new Christian community. I imagined with the author how life was difficult for the community as they were trying to assimilate the new Gentile believers into their community despite profound differences in culture. This is very interesting as we look at church today and how people struggle to adjust to differences in our own culture.
The book highlights ten different stories, each with the Scripture references to go with it. There are also additional features such as questions and points of reference at the end of each chapter. These alone could encourage many lively and thoughtful discussions for a Sunday school class or home school.
The stories would be best read by the younger child with the questions guided by an adult. There are also many helps at the end of the book such as lesson plan ideas, a matching quiz, and a stage play. My own girls would have loved acting out the play!
Adults will learn, as I did, many interesting facts about the times and places of these Bible stories. This book has the potential to encourage young girls to see great role models in these often-overlooked girls. If God put them in the Bible, then it must be important for us to study!