by John Hendrix
Published by Harry N. Abrams Genres: Biography, Nonfiction, Young Adult

“Faith, without action, is no faith at all. Love, without sacrifice, is no love at all.”

What books inspire you on a profound level, maybe even on a spiritual level? I am of the belief that stories have the capacity to change the reader from the inside out.

If you are familiar with this blog and my research, you might remember one idea I propose. Reading and responding to books for young readers is one way to nurture our spirituality as adults. And this is exactly what happened as I read Faithful Spy, a nonfiction text with amazing graphics by John Hendrix.

DIETRICH BONHOEFFR, SPY IN THE RESISTANCE

This moving story depicts the courageous life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Bonhoeffer was a German theologian who spoke out and took a stand for justice during the dark era in WWII Germany when the Nazis were in power. This is a true story about someone incredibly interesting. And Bonhoeffer was a member of the Resistance, a spy, a pastor, and ethical thinker! The text includes direct quotations from Bonhoeffer himself, adding a rich dimension to a well-researched biography. Take a look at the illustrations in this one. You will probably be mesmerized!

Something else I love about this book is the way the author charts the journey of Bonhoeffer as he realizes he must alter his life in order to truly take a stand for what he believes.

Bonhoeffer recognizes that what the Nazis are doing is wrong and his life choices reflect amazing conviction and courage. As a result, he works to convince others to do the same. Like Bonhoeffer, we can confront injustice in the ways we are able, but maybe this stand for justice can be even more effective when in the context of community.

Hendrix provides a well-needed book for today’s young readers, and I’m interested to know what other readers think about Bonhoeffer’s life and the way he took a stand in the face of evil and hatred.

A YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction finalist, this young adult text is engaging and inspiring. So, once you open this book, you might not be able to put it down until you’ve turned the last page. Faithful Spy, like many other books for young readers, reinforces to me that adult readers also have opportunities to be inspired and grow in compassion and wisdom.

What books for younger readers have inspired you? Are there other biographies or autobiographies for young readers that you would recommend? If so, tell me about them!
What Katie Read

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