Robert Petterson’s new work, The Book of Amazing Stories, is a great read. The author has distilled ninety events from the lives of historical characters into two to three page stories that keep the reader guessing until the final paragraphs. Who is the author describing? As the clues unfold the reader races to discover the identity of the subject under study. I choose the word amazing to capture my state of mind as I worked my way through these tales.
Petterson is a master storyteller and while some of the data presented may be more legend than fact the reader will pause often to remark, “I never knew that.” The author offers a comprehensive list of sources to enable deeper investigations by driven readers.
Each story ends with a quote from the character or a summary statement of a truth being illustrated accompanied by a verse of Scripture. Note the spiritual insight presented in this volume is not deep, and I struggled in some cases to connect the verse back to the story. Nevertheless I marveled at the perseverance exhibited by so many in the face of obstacles and found encouragement as I considered these heroes were human just like me. I especially loved the stories written about characters from the Bible.
The Book of Amazing Stories will prove useful to those engaged in teaching and preaching who understand the value of an apt illustration. Petterson has done the heavy lifting to gather ninety such illustrations in one handy book. Grab a copy. Add notes and a suitable index to enable finding that particular story when you most need it. Take advantage of the research already done by this talented writer.
Parents will find The Book of Amazing Stories to be a great read aloud book for older elementary children at bedtime or family devotions. The text lends itself to deeper discussions on the challenges the characters faced and the choices they made. The author has given ninety great starting points for teaching the next generation that character matters.
I thoroughly enjoyed The Book of Amazing Stories. This book is a keeper.
Note – Tyndale House Publishers provided a complimentary copy of The Book of Amazing Stories to facilitate my review.