Family Lore: Kindling a Love of Story in Children

Family Lore: Kindling a Love of Story in Children

I am convinced that storytelling, so carefully woven into human nature by our Creator, is becoming a lost art to most of us, as we continue to outsource our storytelling needs to the movie-and-book making professionals. Nothing wrong with enjoying a good film or novel, of course; but something vital is lost when storytelling is no longer reflected in the life of churches and families. Better that we tell our own stories, however poorly, than to completely surrender this important work to the self-styled professionals. Thus this little book, Family Lore: Kindling a Love of Story in Children. In seven short chapters, we’ll explore the importance of Story in the lives of children, and examine specific strategies for building a storytelling culture in our homes. The book is designed to be practical in nature: the last chapter is entirely devoted to suggestions you can put to work to help guide your kids in their growing love of Story. While the book is primarily written with parents in mind, the ideas here can certainly be used in classroom settings (day school or Sunday School) as well. This book will be available soon as a Kindle eBook, but you can get a copy now, for free, by signing up for our email list. Thanks, and be sure to share the book on Facebook, Twitter, and all your favorite social media...
Polycarp: The Crown of Fire

Polycarp: The Crown of Fire

My first book, Polycarp: The Crown of Fire, was released by Christian Focus Publications in 2005. It is historical fiction for young readers, based on the life of Polycarp, second century bishop of Smyrna, disciple of the Apostle John, and one of the most famous martyrs in church history. It is the third in the Torchbearers series (novels on the lives of Christian martyrs), and is also available as an eBook. Interestingly, the book was translated into Turkish a couple of years later, in partnership with a missionary contact in the Middle East. Below is the cover for that edition, and, below that, excerpts from reader reviews (of the English edition):   “A stirring read for young people.” “…very well researched and blends fact with fiction to make an exciting adventure story for seven to 12-year-olds, set in the days of the persecution of the early church by the Roman Empire.” “Let yourself be transported to a world far different than our own through the writings of Newsom.” “Reading The Crown of Fire was well worth it…I was captivated by the dialogue Newsom powerfully crafted….” “…well written and chock full of fascinating history and well researched facts.” “…perfect reading material, especially the spiritual aspect of the book…[we’re] racing through the book and gaining a good bit of Church history at the same time!” “…grabs the reader’s attention on page one, and then weaves an action-filled story through to the final page.Drawing from ancient records, William Newsom paints a vivid picture of life during the early days of the Christian church. once into the story, it is hard to put it down…The accuracy of historical events...
Talking of Dragons: The Children’s Books of J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis

Talking of Dragons: The Children’s Books of J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis

Christian Focus Publications released Talking of Dragons, my second book, in November, 2005 (U.K.) and December in the U.S., just in time for the release of the much-anticipated film version of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. This book is a family-centered introduction to the children’s writings of two great authors: J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis. Included are chapters on The Hobbit and The Chronicles of Narnia, but the book also looks at lesser known children’s writings, such as Tolkien’s Roverandom, Mr. Bliss, and The Father Christmas Letters, as well as Lewis’ Letters to Children, and Boxen. Other chapters explore the friendship between Lewis and Tolkien, their storytelling methods, a Biblical view of Fairy Tales, and more. It includes, at the end of every chapter, practical suggestions to help parents and children get more out of books and stories. The publisher retained the services of well-known Lewis and Tolkien scholar Colin Duriez as editor (in addition to his many books, he also appears on the behind the scenes features of Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings DVDs, and on the Chronicles of Narnia DVDs as well). Mr. Duriez wrote a nice endorsement, which you can read below, along with another from pastor and author Douglas Wilson, and an excerpt from the excellent foreword written by scholar and author Bradly J. Birzer. “This readable book is excellent for parents who wish to have a deep quality of communication with their children. It will also be very useful for librarians and primary school teachers, and those in churches who have responsibilities with children. The author has a firm grasp of the...
The Nicholas Book: A Legend of Santa Claus

The Nicholas Book: A Legend of Santa Claus

Pastor Douglas Wilson tells of a family who told their little girl that Santa Claus was not real, and received this reply: “Is Jesus real?” In a world filled with doubters and skeptics, who needs one more thing to confuse our children? On the other hand, I, like many, grew up with the Santa Claus legend and very much enjoyed it. But because of stories like Pastor Wilson’s, I was concerned to think carefully about what I taught my children concerning Saint Nicholas. For several years, I remained relatively silent on the issue, not saying much of anything about the Santa Claus legends one way or another. Eventually, of course, I had to take the time to settle the matter. To work through my own views on the various Christmas legends surrounding St. Nicholas, and to discover just what I needed to teach my children, I wrote The Nicholas Book: A Legend of Santa Claus. If it comes down to a choice between losing Santa or losing Jesus, then Santa will have to go. But if it was possible to keep the Santa story, then I needed a story my children could grow into—not a story they would be forced to grow out of. As it stands now, children have to grow out of the Santa story, which is a sure sign that something is wrong. But it doesn’t have to be that way. The great G. K. Chesterton said it well: “What has happened to me has been the very reverse of what appears to be the experience of most of my friends. Instead of dwindling to a...