Weight of a Flame: The Passion of Olympia Morata

Weight of a Flame: The Passion of Olympia Morata – Reformation21.

A new church history (Reformation period) book by Simonetta Carr with the above title (a member of the United Reformed Churches and author of other children/teenager books on St.Augustine, J.Calvin, etc.) is receiving high commendation. This review was posted by William Boekestein, at “Ref21” for May 2012.

Weight of a Flame tells the true story of Olympia Morata, a sixteenth century Italian child prodigy who was groomed by her father, Fulvio, for an academic career. Tragically, Olympia dies before turning thirty, but not before receiving international attention for her precision in Greek and Latin as well as in Protestant theology. The tragedy of her death is tempered by an all-important lesson Olympia learns along her short journey: God uniquely gifts his children to live for his glory. Because Carr’s first foray into historical fiction frequently reads like a psychological novel, revealing the unspoken thoughts of the young protagonist, readers can feel the “thick blanket of snow melting inside of her heart” as she reflects on the reality of Galatians 2:20 (p. 99) and first catches the vision for living soli Deo gloria.

Olympia’s interaction with her father is particularly touching. Less than halfway through the book, I wasn’t sure if my young daughters were tracking. But after the first eight words of chapter eight (“Fulvio died in the early days of autumn…”) they simultaneously burst into tears. Olympia’s affection for her father beautifully transitions into a lovely relationship with her Christ-like husband Andreas. The last half of the book is a romance novel in the best and most-biblical sense of the word. The only thing more beautiful than the blossoming love between this briefly-wed couple is Olympia’s passion for Christ; a passion forged partly in the crucible of Inquisition-era persecution.

Despite a sometimes overly-robust vocabulary including quite a number of foreign words, this book is a highly recommended and heartwarming introduction to an obscure but significant daughter of the Italian Reformation.

And at the site “Redeemed Reader” (website devoted especially to children’s literature) you will find this interview conducted with Mrs.S.Carr.

Published in: on June 5, 2012 at 12:09 PM  Leave a Comment  

Guidelines for Children’s Reading – Elementary Grades

Classical School Reading List: Grades 1-8 – Justin Taylor.

Looking for some guidelines in knowing what children should be reading at various ages in the grade school level? This “classical school reading list” put together by Justin Taylor (“Between Two Worlds” blog) and Calvary Classical School in Hampton, VA should be useful. Looking at the list, I see many excellent suggestions that will encourage our children to read and to read well. Below is the beginning of the list; find the complete list at the link above.

First Grade Reading List
“+” indicates that any book in the series is acceptable.
Read aloud by teacher in class:

○ Leaf, Munro. How to Behave and Why
○ Leaf, Munro. How to Speak Politely and Why
○ Lloyd-Jones, Sally. The Jesus Storybook Bible
○ Taylor, Helen. Little Pilgrim’s Progress
○ Leithart, Peter. Wise Words: Family Stories that Bring the Proverbs to Life
○ Brown, Jeff. Flat Stanley
○ Dalgliesh, Alice. The Courage of Sarah Noble
○ Silverstein, Shel. A Light in the Attic
Outside Reading
Level 1
○ Bulla, Clyde. Daniel’s Duck
○ Changler, Edna. Cowboy Sam +
○ Frasconi, Antonio. The House that Jack Built
○ Graham, Margaret. Benjy’s Dog House +
○ Hoff, Syd. Sammy the Seal
○ Hoff, Syd. Danny and the Dinosaur+
○ Krauss, Ruth. The Carrot Seed
○ Lionni, Leo. Inch by Inch
○ Littledale, Freya. The Magic Fish
○ Lobel, Arnold. Frog and Toad Are Friends +
○ Offen, Hilda. A Treasury of Mother Goose
○ Seuss, Dr. Beginner Books +
○ Seuss, Dr. Bright and Early Books +
○ Tabak, Simms. There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly
○ Wood, Audrey. Quick as a Cricket


Published in: on June 5, 2012 at 11:58 AM  Leave a Comment