Get ready for another rip-roaring saga from Luke, one of the greatest story tellers ever!

Nope, this is not the latest YA blockbuster – though it is chock full of thrills, danger, laughs and crazy happenings.  Following on from the MEGA “Luke’s Story“, the first book in the “Diary of a Disciple” series from Scripture Union this next instalment takes us through the book of Acts with a focus on Peter and Paul.

It is every bit as the first one.  Whip cracking dialogue and smart narration makes the story Luke tells leap off the page, this is literally a page-turner – you just have to know what happens next!  The Book of Acts is a bit like one of the exciting trailers for a film that has all the best bits in it – the difference is, the Bible is FULL of amazing stuff like this.

What Gemma Willis has created (with the fantastic, quirky illustrations from Emma Randall) is a series that could do for the Bible what Harry Potter did for children’s reading.  I’m not going overboard here.  I’ve a couple of wonderful children – one of them will read anything and everything, devouring books the way Smaug devours villages and treasure . . . while the other one WILL read, but often needs to be won over in the first sentence – “Luke’s Story” has been read repeatedly.

What is great about doing Acts next is just how much there is in there about the birth of the early church, getting to grips with following Jesus now He has ascended, understanding and receiving the Holy Spirit, acts of great faith . . . it has it all!

Just a couple of cracking quotes to whet your appetite,

3 days after you killed him, he was completely ALIVE again, a real person, a real living, talking man who EVEN cooked me breakfast on the beach.  It was the BEST breakfast EVER!  Death can’t beat God, he’s too powerful! It is just like King David said so Long ago : I saw the Lord, he was always there, he was always with me and he was AMAZING, he gave me HOPE and showed me life to the FULL.  He will make me happy when I am with him.

Peter giving it LARGE to the crowd, Acts 2, “Diary of a Disciple – Peter and Paul’s Story

Yep, the narrative takes a few liberties with the actual text in Acts – but it is wholly biblical, drawing in the reader, bringing to mind things we know have happened (like that breakfast on the beach, what better evidence that someone is genuinely back from the dead and alive but they do something like that!)

What you can’t see from the text I’ve quoted is the wonderful text flourishes and cool little drawings that are reminiscent of Tom Gates or Diary of a Wimpy Kid.  This is absolutely spot on for reluctant readers or those children who want to be entertained on every page with bold lettering and – I particularly like the repetition of the swirly lines around the words “Holy Spirit” where ever he appears, a reminder that the Spirit blows where he pleases.

Messing about with names is another great way of engaging with children, the subtitle for Acts Chapter 18 is, “Tit, Crisp and Apollos” (no, really),

And, OFF he went.  Well, he went NEXT door anyway – to Tit’s house.  (Actually, his real name was Titus Justus, which sounds rathe posh to me, so I’m just going to call him Tit). At Tit’s house there was a man called CRISP.  No seriously – there was!  (His real name was Crispus!)

Acts 18, “Diary of a Disciple – Peter and Paul’s Story

Other great bits include the use of phonics when there are tricky names or places,

Before he knew it, poor old Sosthenes (say soss – ther – nees), one of the Jewish leaders, found himself being PUNCHED in the face and kicked in the ribs, by his own people! They kept on beating him up – and every time someone smacked him they kept looking at Gallio to see what he’d DO.  He didn’t do anything. Ouch.

Acts 18, “Diary of a Disciple – Peter and Paul’s Story

Finally, another wonderful thing about both “Luke’s Story” and “Peter and Paul’s Story” is they just DEMAND to be read out loud.  Great for all age worship (great anyway, next time I’m preaching from Luke or Acts I’m taking these bad boys in with me . . . )

So to finish – get off my blog and go and buy “Diary of a Disciple – Peter and Paul’s Story” now.*

* P.S. Either or both would make GREAT Christmas presents . . . I warn you though, put them out of reach – or buy more than one of each so you can keep em’ and bless someone else.

“Diary of a Disciple – Luke’s Story” and “Diary of a Disciple – Peter and Paul’s Story” are available from your local Christian bookstore or direct from Scripture Union.