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Trailblazer Books Series

by Dave and Neta Jackson

Reviewed by Elliot Robinson

Purchase details: Trailblazer Series by Dave & Neta Jackson. $5.99. Published by Bethany House. Please support by buying these books using our links shown below.

The thirty-seven Trailblazer series books are stories in which a fictional character interacts with a Christian hero in a historically accurate situation. The target age range for these books is eight to twelve. Two titles were reviewed.

Sinking the Dayspring, a story of John Paton

Kevin Gilmore and his mother live in 19th century Australia, where many English criminals are shipped for life. Faced with poverty, they both work all day long, Mrs. Gilmore at laundry, and Kevin at whatever he can find. So when his mother dies leaves him with only the family Bible, the clothes on his back, and an old pouch containing one hundred shares of a missionary ship, Kevin has the option of either going to work on a sheep farm or living in the streets. Chased by the police, he runs to his old place of employment, the docks, in hopes of being inconspicuous. Instead he finds the missionary, John Paton, who sold him his shares, and is quickly hired as cabin boy in the ship. He has many adventures, sails to cannibal islands, and is then taken captive by slave traders! His daring escape and the building of another missionary ship combine excitement with Christian aspects for an interesting book.

Caught in the Rebel Camp, a story of Frederick Douglass

Danny Sims works as a stable hand for Frederick Douglass. In return, he is treated as family. He eats at the Douglass' table and sleeps in a bed in their house. However, he is kept from doing heavy work and long walks by a birth defect, a club foot. Naturally, when the Union army opens its doors to "colored" people, he wants to be the first in, but his foot keeps him from being accepted. But, as a true friend, Frederick gets him a position as a groom for Colonel Robert Gould Shaw's horse. When the horse escapes one night, he goes out to find him, and only escapes being captured by Rebel cavalry by taking a ride with a man who is carrying water to the rebels. They are both barricaded inside Fort Wagner, just in time for a battle! Danny exhibits admirable qualities throughout the book.

Recommendation: These easy-to-read adventures bring together Christian values with history. The vocabulary is not difficult, and the stories move at a rapid pace, so these books could be good for encouraging reluctant readers. resources related to this review:'s History Section where you will find many "living" history resources!
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