Apologia is known throughout the homeschool community as a leader in Christian-based science materials for students of all ages. Addison is in the middle of her fourth Apologia science class, and we've been very impressed with the materials. In addition to their science materials, they also offer Christian apologetics curriculum and encouragement for parents (whether or not they choose to homeschool).
Recently, I've been reading Sarah Clarkson's new book Journeys of Faithfulness. The subtitle implies that it's appropriate for "young Christian women," and the Apologia website gives a recommendation "for ages 12 and up." I loved the book and think it would be wonderful for many women, not just teens.
Journeys of Faithfulness delves into the rich stories of Biblical women, stories of Mary and Martha, Mary the mother of Jesus, Esther, and Ruth. Sarah Clarkson devotes three chapters to each character (or pair of characters for Mary and Martha). The beginning of each chapter is a fictionalized interpretation of the scripture. I like the way the story unfolds with rich details and insights into the minds of the characters. I know that all the specific details of the stories she tells are not found in the scriptures, but I enjoy reading one possible look at the way things could have happened. For instance, while I was reading the first chapter about Mary the mother of Jesus, I could imagine the fear Mary felt when she told her father of her encounter with the angel and the promise that she would be the mother of the Messiah. The descriptions in Sarah Clarkson's retelling of the Biblical stories bring the scriptures alive.
Following the story, there is a short devotional section offering thoughts on how the lessons of the Bible can relate to modern women. The stories swept me back in time and I was caught up in imagining how things must have happened. The devotional sections challenged me. I read through them slowly, with lots of passages underlined and lots of time spent reflecting on the ideas shared.
Since this book is aimed at teens, I asked Addison to read a few chapters. She thought the book was merely okay, but later told me that she just really doesn't like reading devotional books. If she is learning about spiritual topics, she'd rather be in a situation where she can discuss the material instead of just reading it. She did think that the enhanced versions of the Biblical stories were interesting. I suspect that other teens would enjoy reading both the stories and the devotional thoughts.
Sarah Clarkson's Journeys of Faithfulness can be ordered from Apologia for only $13. I think it would make a great gift for any woman, young or old. If you'd like to read a bit for yourself, you can find a sample of the book containing the entire first chapter here.