Corrie Ten Boom: Keeper of the Angels’ Den
Janet & Geoff Benge
YWAM Publishing, 1998
A few weeks ago Sarah and I visited her daughter’s school library and scoured the shelves for books that we might want to review here. At one point we strayed from the theology section to the biography section because we’d like to build up a nice collection of middle grade biographies that we recommend.
After a brief discussion we decided that Corrie Ten Boom might be a good starting point. The only problem was that there were four separate youth biographies about her on the shelves! I added all four to my stack to check out, thinking that I’d read a chapter or two of each one to see which author I thought was the best.
A few days later I set out on my task. I settled down with all of the books during my daughter’s naptime and read the opening chapter in the first three titles. Honestly, most of them were perfectly fine. Corrie Ten Boom’s life story is remarkable no matter how you construct the prose! But after I picked up Corrie Ten Boom: Keeper of the Angels’ Den, which is part of the Christian Heroes Then and Now series, I was at chapter five before I even looked up. I had found my winner.
Most of you are probably familiar with Corrie Ten Boom’s life. During the Holocaust she, along with her father and sisters (whom she lived with as an adult), provided refuge for Dutch Jews in their home because of their Christian faith. Their secret room was so well hidden that the Jews survived a Gestapo raid – but Corrie and her family ended up in concentration camps because of their bold stance. Several of her family members died in the camps, but Corrie survived.
Throughout her time in the camps, Corrie refused to give in to despair because of her deeply held conviction that “There is no pit so deep that God’s love is not deeper still.” That may sound like a truism to those of us who have not suffered much, but after reading about what Corrie endured you will be amazed that she proclaimed that message even in the death camps. Not only did she believe it, she also lived it out by trying to give hope to her fellow prisoners through small acts of kindness, prayer, and Scripture. In a situation when most people would be consumed with their own survival, she wanted to help others.
Janet and Geoff Benge’s account of Corrie Ten Boom’s faithfulness to God and neighbor during the darkest of times is well worth reading. Our children need to grow up hearing stories like this one, stories that will vividly demonstrate for them what it means to know the depths Christ’s love and follow him no matter the cost. It’s not a fun story to read, but it is an important one. Through this book Corrie might even become a friend to our children and sustain them during times when they need a glorious example of standing firm in the faith.
Because of the subject matter, this book is best reserved for older children who are already familiar with this atrocious period in history.
I have a very hard time reading about the Holocaust and connected subjects, but this review inspires me to want to try to read about Ten Boom with my girls when the time is right. This is profound and beautifully written, Haley. Thanks!!
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