THE PRAYER OF JABEZ FOR KIDS
For the sizable segment of Christians who see evangelism as their primary religious duty, the Jabez books are motivational literature par excellence: Wilkinson's The Prayer of Jabez has sold over six million copies since Multnomah released it last year. Carlson's adaptation for middle-graders resembles its parent in package and theology but not in style. To children who daily pray the "Jabez prayer"—a Bible verse requesting blessing and protection from sin (1 Chronicles 4:10)—the authors promise "incredibly special" results, "adventure, excitement, and lots of fun." But nothing is concrete. Sin is doing "something wrong." Blessings turn out to be neither material nor relational, but evangelistic: increased opportunities to tell classmates about Christ. The authors' attempts at friendly conversation often seem condescending ("You know what?"), wordy ("kind of") or silly ("huh?"). Age targeting is inconsistent: early chapters may strike middle readers as babyish, while Chapter 4 is aimed squarely at teenagers. God is masculine, and most illustrations—verbal or visual—also feature males. Nevertheless, with its abundant line drawings, pull quotes, and sidebars, the 4½"×6" volume makes an attractively packaged addition to a line of books currently enjoying unparalleled blessing. Ages 8-12. (July)
FYI:Tommy Nelson is simultaneously publishing Wilkinson and Carlson's board book The Prayer of Jabez for Little Kids ($5.99 ages 2-5 ISBN 0-8499-7943-9), illus. by Alexi Natchev (not credited in the book). The picture book The Prayer of Jabez for Young Hearts by Wilkinson and Robert Suggs, illus. by Sergio Martinez, and the devotional The Prayer of Jabez Devotions for Kids: Living Big for God are planned for October publication.