Heroes of History is a biography series with true stories of fascinating men and women who changed the course of history. This “unique biography series brings the shaping of history to life with these remarkable true stories.” The stories are “told in an engaging narrative format, where related history, geography, government, and science topics come to life to make a lasting impression." Heroes of History series are written by Janet and Geoff Benge and published by Emerald Books. The goal of Emerald Books is to produce high-quality informative books that build character, inspire a wholehearted engagement of a topic, and change lives.
Heroes of History-Billy Graham: America’s Pastor is the biography of an in-depth portrait of Billy Graham’s life. It tells of how a young farm boy comes to know Christ and grows up to become a man who impacted the world for Christ through evangelism. The book is a 208 page paperback. It is geared to kids ages 10+. There are 17 chapters with each being anywhere from 5 or more pages long. At this time you can purchase it for $7.50. They also have it available in CD and e-book formats.
Billy Graham grew up in Charlotte, North Carolina. He was the oldest son of dairy farmers Frank and Morrow Graham. He would be the second child but his older sister Margaret died while she was still a baby. He had two younger sisters named Catherine and Jean, and a little brother named Melvin. As a child, he was known as Billy Frank. His family was of the Presbyterian faith. Although the family went to church, he did not have a serious relationship with God. His mother was the spiritual leader in their household until his father nearly died from an accident in the farm’s woodshop from a mechanical saw.
At the age of 15, Billy’s life was changed after attending a prayer rally of Mordecai Ham. He was persuaded to go from a friend because the kids from their high school were supposed to go there to picket the meetings. They ended up not showing but Billy was curious to see what went on in the meetings. Night after night he went wanting to hear more of what Mr. Ham would preach. Right before Billy’s 16th birthday, he gave his life to Christ. He marked his conversion by dropping the Frank part of his name. From there he would be called Billy Graham. This decision to follow Christ got him teased by his friends. They would call him Preacher Boy, and he even lost friends because of his new found faith.
Billy’s first opportunity to speak about God before a crowd was at a jailhouse in Monroe, NC when he was 16. He was so nervous and stumbled over his words. He went on to attend Bob Jones College but he did not like it there. After a semester he transferred to the Florida Bible Institute. While there Billy gained preaching experience and was encouraged to pursue a career in ministry. After being ordained as a Southern Baptist minister. Billy decided to attend Wheaton College. This is where he met Ruth Bell. She was the daughter of medical missionaries in China. After all that Billy had been learning about Ruth, he became more and more interested in her. They went on to be married in August of 1943.
YWAM Publishing also sent us a Study Guide to go along with our book. It comes as a zip file download. I had to unzip the files in order to be able to see the Unit Study online. Next, I clicked the start-here button to get me to the Welcome page in the picture you see above. This gave me access to the things in the Unit Study. It consists of PDF files, online resources, and bonus content like you see below.
The PDF files are also available in the zip file you download. Instead of going to the website I found I could just open the PDFs from the src file folder you see after unzipping the files.
There are 5 parts of this curriculum guide. There is the Heroes of History (HH) Classroom Overview, Heroes of History (HH) Group Overview, Heroes of History (HH) Homeschool Overview, Unit Study 1, and Unit Study 2. As homeschoolers we only needed to focus on 3 parts. First the HH Homeschool Overview. It’s 24 pages with all kinds of suggestions to give you ideas to incorporate into the kids learning. Second is the Unit Study Part 1. It is a 74 page curriculum guide that’s designed to accompany the book being read. It “provides ways to use the book as a vehicle for teaching or reinforcing various curriculum areas”. Third is Unit Study Part 2. It is 5 pages and contains a fact sheet, 3 printable maps, and a timeline like what you see in the picture above. Here is a breakdown of what’s inside Unit Study Part 1:
* Key Quotes
* Display Corner
* Chapter Questions: consists of 6 questions (1st is the definition of a vocabulary word and use it in a sentence, followed by 3 comprehension questions, and 2 questions where the student gives his or her opinion).
* Student Explorations: Creative Writing, Hands-on Projects, Essay/Research, Arts and Crafts, ect.
* Community Links: resources of people and places that can help students learn and appreciate other time periods and experiences.
* Social Studies: covers places, journeys, vocabulary, geography, ect.
* Related Themes to Explore: interesting things to study in conjunction with Billy Graham (ex: history, government, current events, religion, ect.)
* Culminating Event: at the end of the unit study this is what gives the topic closure and gives the student and opportunity to share what they learned with others.
* Books and Resources: related books, movies and documentaries, articles and Internet sites, ect.
* Answers to Chapter Questions
We chose to do a book report (see the pictures above). Our book reports are done lapbook journal style (using printables I got from another source). I had my son copy a key quote each day for a week in his best handwriting and had him explain what he thought it meant. We discussed the chapter questions they included, took a virtual tour of the Billy Graham Library, and even watched a related movie suggestion called “The Hiding Place” (a story about the ten Boom family who were Dutch Christians). This is one of the many movies produced by World Wide Pictures and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.
My son was really inspired by Billy Graham’s story. He was most impressed to learn how Billy Graham worked with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to address the need to end segregation in America. Before reading the book he did not know Billy Graham gave his life to Christ while he was a high school teen. I’m so thankful my son got a chance to learn of Billy Graham’s journey to speaking around the world to millions about Jesus Christ. Billy Graham has now gone on to his new home address in heaven. We hope to make it to Charlotte, NC someday to visit the Billy Graham Library.
We are so blessed to have been introduced to YWAM Publishing and the great biographies they offer. Last year we got to read and review the story about Ben Carson's life. Another book my son is interested in is Christian Heroes- C.S. Lewis. Thank you for taking the time to read my review. Other Crew members reviewed many different titles in the Heroes of History as well as the Christian Heroes: Then & Now series. Click on the banner below to read what they had to share.
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