Discovering quality materials to help my kids (and myself) grow in faith is always exciting! We’ve been enjoying the book that Case Makers Academy and David C Cook sent us to review, Forensic Faith for Kids.
What Is Forensic Faith for Kids?
This paperback book is designed to help readers understand how to investigate questions they have, with the ultimate goal of being able to answer the questions others have about Christianity. The Bible says,
But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: ~ 1 Peter 3:15 (KJV)
It’s so important for all believers to be able to answer questions, because the world will have them. As our children become believers, we want them to grow in their understanding of Biblical matters. To know what (and why) they believe what they believe.
Written by a cold-case detective and his wife, this book dives into how to investigate the Bible to see if it’s telling the truth. It encourages readers to learn about apologetics, in a very easy to understand manner. There is also an adult version of the book, which I’m looking forward to reading someday.
Throughout the book, you’ll find illustrations, graphics, and sidebars designed to help your understanding. These include:
- CSI Assignments: These encourage students to check the scripture and ask questions to get readers digging into the Bible
- Detective Definitions: The vocabulary of detectives might be strange to readers. These sidebars explain a word from the text
- A Tool for Your Detective Bag: These explain character traits and offer encouragement to readers learning how to answer questions about their faith. They’re “tools” they can pull out when they need them.
- Dig Deep: These reminders to use the online Case Makers Academy (see below) are scattered throughout the text
Case Makers Academy
The book isn’t the only resource available with this product. Everyone can check out Case Makers Academy, an online supplement. Here, you’ll find material to go with every chapter of the book.
This screenshot shows what to expect. There’s a short video, and a couple of downloadable worksheets. One is a Training Activity, encouraging readers go back into the text and find answers. Here’s a shot of one of them from chapter seven:
The other worksheet is for the Academy Notebook. Students can complete these from each chapter, and put them together to create their own notebook by the end of the book. These review important concepts, and remind students of the Detective Tools they have available.
The worksheets are quick to complete, and really reinforce reading comprehension skills!
You also find an “Adult Learner Guide” that recommends a chapter in the adult version of the book to read before reading about the same concepts with kids. This sheet also includes a list of questions to help get kids thinking, and summarizes the important content in the chapter.
The Premise of the Book
This book opens up as a mystery. A cute little puppy appears at a baseball team car wash. The kids who find her are members of the Junior Detective Academy, so one of the parents suggests taking they mystery dog there so Detective Jeffries can help them find out who owns her.
The next chapter shares how Hannah, a girl in the Academy, is eager to know what the mystery is about. One of the others called her to tell her about it, but just said they had a new mystery.
But, while she’s at church, something takes her mind off that mystery. She’s asked by a friend how she knows that Jesus IS God. And she doesn’t know what to say.
Thankfully, the Junior Detective Agency stands ready to investigate both mysteries. Throughout the book, they learn how to think like a detective, search for evidence, and make a conclusion.
How We Use This Book
I was planning on having two of my upper elementary kids read through this book together. But, it was a bit too challenging for them to do independently. So, instead we worked through it as a read aloud, taking a chapter at a time.
Because of our metered internet, we weren’t able to watch all of the corresponding videos. But, we enjoyed and found value in the ones we did watch. We also completed some of the training sheets and Academy Notebook pages. These we typically did together, orally, instead of writing them out. (I kept forgetting to print them before hand, so I just opened them up online and we worked through them together…)
What I Thought of This Product
I really think everyone should be able to answer questions about what they believe. This book teaches apologetics in a non-threatening, easy to understand manner. By tying the search for Biblical answers into the other mystery the kids are solving, it really helps make what is taught memorable.
The authors did a great job tying everything together, and we learned a lot as we read. I recommend this book for other families who want to know more about Christianity and why they believe what they believe.
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