Our family has been reading this beautiful, Lamplighter Publishing book as a history supplement, and it happened to fit right in with the Easter season, which was more than fitting. Titus, Comrade of the Cross, by Florence Kingsley, is an excellent choice of literature to go along with your history studies, or to read together for the Easter season, or just to add to your Must Read list. This is my third time through the book, and honestly, I'm moved every single time. It really should not be missed.
I don't want to give away some of the special and surprising relationships in the story, so I'll keep the review of the characters a bit vague. The story is set during the time of Jesus' ministry and centers around a young man, Titus, who is kidnapped as a boy, and encounters many struggles as he is raised by a cruel father. The people of the Bible come to "life" as we encounter many familiar names from the Bible, including the Pharisees, disciples, and especially Jesus.
The story is beautiful and sad at the same time, and while it is often listed for younger children, I would use caution and suggest it more for ages 12 and up and recommend reading it together as a family, as there is much to discuss along the way. It is more than appropriate reading for teens as well, both girls and guys, and they would also benefit from reading as a read-aloud. It isn't graphic, but there are themes of abuse, violence, and heartbreak, along with redemption, forgiveness and love!
This story was written for and won a contest in the late 1800's, and the goal was to write a story that would set a child's heart on fire for Christ. She succeeded! One small "caution" is that it is written in rather formal, older English, so don't let the "hithers and thithers" distract you. After a short time, you actually appreciate the language and it adds to the "you are there" reading experience. Don't wait for Easter to pick up this title. It should be added to every family's Must Read list.
And you won't want to miss the sequel, Stephen, Soldier of the Cross, also written by Florence M. Kingsley. She once again writes a moving, historical fiction account of life during the time of Christ. With all the garbage out there being offered as reading material for our children, I gobble up titles such as these that are such worthy reading. I appreciate Lamplighter Publishing putting out these wonderful titles. They have many other excellent titles available, such as Teddy's Button, The Basket of Flowers, Hedge of Thorns and more. They also offer lists especially recommended for boys or girls. These are beautiful books to add to your library,