Sunday, October 18, 2015

BookLook Blogger Review: NIV FaithGirlz! Bible

The BookLook Blogger Review Program sent me the NIV FaithGirlz! Bible to review. I knew as soon as I saw the adorable owl and colorful cover that it would be the perfect gift for my almost 8-year-old daughter. She adores owls and purple is her favorite color so I immediately requested it once it became available. She needed a new age-appropriate Bible. This one will surely encourage her to read and discover God's Word.

Author Biography
Nancy Rue the best selling author, editor, and tween expert who wrote the in-text features of this Bible.  

Book Description
The FaithGirlz! Bible published by ZonderKidz (Zondervan) with trendy and unique magnetic closure is packed with exciting in-text features that help tween girls better understand themselves and Scripture. It teaches girls that the Bible is real, relevant, and that the story of God and his people is also their story. The FaithGirlz! Bible uses the bestselling New International Version (NIV) translation to reference Scripture.
Overall Thoughts and Opinions
The FaithGirlz! hardcover Children's Bible which released on August 4th contains approximately 1,490-pages which brings God's Word to life. It is chock-full of special features scattered throughout the Bible that will draw in the reader.

I believe that the NIV version is one of the easier to comprehend versions for children currently seen on the market. The New International Version is one that is reliable and can be trusted. It can also be easily adapted if using it in conjunction with your Bible homeschool curriculum or during Sunday School. This complete NIV version contains several insightful footnotes and commentary to further understand the passages being read. There are sectional headings within the text to aid the reader.

The color selections chosen for this high-quality constructed Bible will appeal to most girls. The text print is dark violet purple with other features in a dark pink font color. It is an easy to read font style and color. The font size is  small, but is also the norm for the Bible size.

The sturdy and durable cover has vivid colors that immediately catch your attention. The design on the front is of two cute purple, pink, and white stitched owls with purple, pink, and white stitched flowers blooming around them as they sit upon a tree branch. My daughter will most likely say that the cover is symbolic of or makes her think of a mother and her daughter's journey studying the Bible together. The Bible also has alternating dark and light horizontal turquoise stripes and a metallic purple polka-dotted handy magnetic closure binding. The unique magnetic binding safely protects the side and pages of the Bible.

The format, layout, structure, and style of this Bible makes this version accessible, interactive, and user-friendly. It does contain helpful study features, tools, and informative content. Let me share with you some of the special features and useful tools in this Bible.

Special In-Text Features
  • Book Introductions - Highlights the 4W's in Each Bible Book: Who, Where, When, What (Main Idea), and Explains How the Bible Book Connects to the Story 
  • Treasure This! - God's Word is Kept Close to Your Heart With Referenced Verses Appropriate for Scripture Memorization
  • Dream Girl - Readers Use Their Imagination and Visualization to Place Themselves in the Story
  • In Your Own Words - Create a List of Sequential Events to Recap or Retell the Bible Story in Your Own Words
  • Oh, I Get It! (Bible Wonders and Answers) - Life and Feeling Applications Explained Which Lead to Additional Scripture Verses to Read and Further Expand on the Story
  • Bring It On! - Contains Multiple Choice Question Quizzes to Help Girls Learn About Themselves and Point Them Directly to God While Addressing Heart Issues
  • Is There's a Little Ruth, Moses, Deborah, Eve, etc. in You? - Focuses on Common Characteristics Between the Reader and the Bible Character and Provides Referenced Verses
My favorite features are the Book Introductions, Bring It On, Treasure This, and In Your Own Words

I really appreciate that the Book Introductions summarize the big ideas or overall picture of the Bible book for new or experienced readers in a simplistic way that they'll remember. The characters, setting, and main points are highlighted in this section. Many of us and our children learned about the 4 W's and How strategy of summarizing content in school. This section will help them understand the Bible book better and help the reader apply the lessons learned to life. 

"Bring It On" is another favorite section of mine, because it allows the reader to interact with the Bible based on real truth . . . questions they must honestly answer about themselves. This feature is found inside a dotted circle. Each response choice sends the reader to a referenced scripture passage they must read. In turn, they'll learn about the relatable heart issues and Bible truths behind their answers while learning lifelong lessons. For example, on page 30, the Bring It On question is When I pray, I: A. Say a prayer I know by heart; B. Basically ask God to take care of me and my family; C. Talk to God like we're having a conversation. On the next page in the dotted circle it states that If you answered C. Go to 1 Kings 3:5-9 which reveals a conversation in through a dream between God and Solomon where God tells him to "Ask for whatever you want me to give you." What I love and appreciate most about this section is that my daughter will be reading different parts of the Bible in one sitting. She's not stuck in one Bible book for any specific time period. She's becoming more familiar with the Bible books and the Bible's content as she explores new verses. 

"Treasure This" gives the reader short and sweet referenced Bible scripture verses to commit to memory and hide in their hearts. My hope is that my daughter will rewrite the verses and store them in an index card box to review on a daily basis. 

The "In Your Own Words" Section has a Word to the Wise Woman note that I love. For example, the Bible states on page 7 that "The evil in this world will try to convince you that your own way is better than God's, but God's always has the best plan for you." I believe these advice tid bits will serve as great reminders to girls as they read through their Bible. It sums up key points about that part of the Bible.  

I can't wait to find out what my daughter's favorite features will be! This is a fantastic Bible and I wish they made a Bible with similar feature for mothers possibly even one that could be used with this one as a mother-daughter study together. I am always looking for ways for us to study similar material together because children can hear different perspectives. The features in this Bible enable the reader to reflect on what they are reading at a much deeper level.  
Helpful Tools
  • Table of Contents - Divided Into Two Main Sections (Old and New Testament)
  • Preface - Discussed the NIV Version and Other Background Information
  • Table of Weights and Measures - Compares Biblical Units of Measure to Approximate American and Metric Equivalents
  • How to Begin a Relationship with Jesus - Details What it Means to Be a Christian, to Ask Jesus Into Your Heart, and Describes Salvation
  • Through the Bible in a Year Reading Plan - Encourages Girls to Read the Bible in a Year Rather Than Allowing it to Collect Dust and Sit on a Shelf
  • Promises from the Bible - Provides the Reader with Referenced Scripture Passages about God's Promises Related to Feelings the Tween May Be Experiencing (Ex: When You are Angry, Feel Guilty, or Art Anxious)
  • Perspectives From the Bible - Section That Refers the Student to Referenced Bible Passages Explained from a Biblical Perspective about a Specific Topic Such as Anger, Baptism, Resurrection, Faith, Giving, Happiness, Hospitality, Love, and More
  • My Notes Journal Pages - Offers Space for the Reader to Jot Down Notes on Lined Pink Stationary-Like Designer Pages 
My favorite tools found at the back of the Bible are the "Through the Bible in a Year" reading plan and the "How to Begin a Relationship with Jesus." 

I want my daughter to have a resource that guides her when studying the Bible and "Through the Bible in a Year" reading plans are helpful. She can still read through the Bible at her own pace but the authors provide guidelines for an independent learner wanting to accomplish this goal which I definitely appreciate.

I have a strong desire for my daughter to build and maintain a relationship with Jesus. The "How to Begin a Relationship with Jesus" section in this Bible describes the steps to take when accepting Jesus in your heart in an easy-to-understand format which makes it less complicating for an adult to explain when this step is taken.

One thing my daughter looks for in a Bible is the topical indexes that allow her to study passages related to issues or feelings that she is experiencing. She's been using them for years. If a Bible doesn't have them she tends to NOT use it as often. She'll appreciate the Promises and Perspectives sections.

The features and the appearance of this FaithGirlz! Bible make it more appealing and inviting to girls. Hopefully, they'll want to open and read the contents.  

Publisher Suggestions
  • We prefer a larger Bible font size. I wasn't fond of the print size. I think that it is too small for young readers unless it is being read aloud. With that being said, it is the average font size for most children's Bibles.
  • I suggest adding Bible maps as one of the helpful Bible features or tools. I always try to integrate geography and history into our Bible study. 
  • There may not be enough writing room for younger children to recap the information read from the "In Your Own Words" section.
This FaithGirlz! Bible retails for $39.99 Zondervan website store.
The Faith Gateway store offers it on sale for $31.99.
It is currently on sale at Amazon for only $27.36.

Yes, I highly recommend the NIV FaithGirlz! Bible to any Christian parent or grandparent with a tween girl especially if they love owls and the color purple is their favorite. It would be a wonderful birthday, Easter, Christmas, or Baptism gift for any Christian girl. Younger girls or teens between the ages of 7-14 may find this version useful and suitable during their personal studies. Bible study teachers of a girls small group study may want to use this Bible version in class.

I know my daughter will want to show her new Bible to her Sunday School teachers and pastor. She'll cherish it forever! The FaithGirlz Bible is an absolute perfect fit for my daughter. I plan on giving it to her as a birthday or Christmas gift, but I am really having a hard time waiting and not giving it to her early. I believe this Bible will help her grow closer to God during her independent Bible study time. I look forward to seeing how she interacts with this Bible in the near future.

I received a complimentary, free copy of this book from the publisher as part of the BookLook Blogger Review Team Program in exchange for an honest review on my blog. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this information in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising." 
I review for BookLook Bloggers

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