We enjoy studying history in our homeschool using a Charlotte Mason-inspired living books approach. It’s a great way to make history more vivid and interesting, as it should be. No more dull textbooks with dates to memorize now and forget later. When Lightning Struck! The Story of Martin Luther by Danika Cooley is exactly the type of living history book that we like to read.
When Lightning Struck! The Story of Martin Luther
Most recognize the name Martin Luther as the Father of the Reformation, but it can be difficult to identify with him as a real person. Through thorough research and faithfulness to historical accounts, Danika Cooley makes it possible to imagine the real Martin Luther. She does not shy away from Luther’s foibles either, showing him as a multi-dimensional person who wanted to follow the will of God no matter the cost.
I appreciate Danika’s ability to draw us into the story of Luther from the first page and keep us turning those pages until the end. It’s great for Christian homeschool families as a read-aloud for grades 3 and up or as independent reading for middle and high school students. My 13-year-old daughter read it on her own, but we discussed it as she went along (I read it first).
The dialogue keeps the story moving forward as we get a look at Luther’s character and motivation. I have always been fascinated by the idea that written words like his 95 Theses could hold such power and enact such furor and change, yet it’s a testament to the power of the Gospel itself.
Aside from the historical significance and accuracy with which it is presented, the theme of grace through faith runs throughout the book. It’s not done in a heavy-handed or preachy manner, but woven into the fabric of Luther’s motivation as an idea worth fighting for. This concept was transformational in Luther’s time and remains so today.
I have to admit that some historical times periods are more interesting to me than others. The Dark Ages/Middle Ages leading up to the time of the Reformation falls into the not-favorite category. That doesn’t prevent me from wanting to teach my daughters about the heroes of the Christian faith and the importance of these events in history. It also inspires me to find especially engaging resources like When Lightning Struck! for this time period.
Free Companion Resources
Danika Cooley is generously offering some free resources to go along with When Lightning Struck! The Story of Martin Luther. There is a 34-page full-color Discussion Guide as well as a 244-page unit study guide The Cobblestone Path ~ Martin Luther Unit Study guide. Visit her blog Thinking Kids for these free downloads for subscribers. They are a great enrichment to reading and studying about Martin Luther and the Reformation!
About the Author
Danika Cooley is a married mother of four, a grandmother, a curriculum
developer, and a writer. Danika’s three year Scripture survey for preschool to high
school, Bible Road Trip, is used across the globe. She blogs about godly parenting
and homeschooling resources at Thinking Kids.
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