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April 8, 2014

Break Through!

by Mary Harwell Sayler with Bible Reviewer

In this well-done edition, Saint Mary’s Press presents Break Through! The Bible for Young Catholics in the contemporary Good News Translation that appeals to readers of all ages.

The beginning pages include a “Salvation History Time Line” that shows the sequence in which the books of the Bible occurred as God breaks through to people, and people break through to God in the unique, ongoing relationship we, too, can be blessed to enjoy.

To encourage interaction with God’s Word, this edition includes sidebars throughout the text to show readers how to “Study It!” but also “Pray It!” and “Live It!” too. In the opening pages, for example, “Study It!” begins by explaining that “The main purpose of the Study It articles is to help you understand what the original author of the story was trying to get across.”

Then, “Pray It!” sidebars focus on “Talking with God,” wondering, for example, “Am I Like Cain?” before praying “Please help me to let go of the anger and jealousy that’s in my heart. Replace it with kindness, fairness, and the ability to see myself as you see me.”

Similarly, the sidebars for “Live It!” encourage young readers to keep on “Following God in Everyday Life,” wisely showing how to go about this. In Romans 12, for example, “Live It!” lets children know, “Sometimes certain messages in our world try to teach us things that are not what God wants for us. In chapter 12 Paul gives us a list of rules for living the life that God intended. Notice how different that list is from some of the things you see or hear every day.”

Other excellent features of this edition include “Break Through!” sections that present Bible stories as interesting conversations and interviews with Bible people. The back matter then has an index to those lively stories followed by an index of the articles for “Pray It! Study It! Live It! and Catholic Connections.” 

A user-friendly glossary and a series of time-tested, traditional prayers have also been included in the back matter to aid spiritual growth. In addition, a set of clearly drawn maps will help children to picture Bible journeys but also see the geographical placement of “The Holy Lands in Modern Times.”