When I saw the package from David C Cook in my mailbox, I knew exactly what it was. Our next review item, Forensic Faith for Kids, had arrived. I was excited when I learned about this new apologetics book for kids. I recognized the name of one of the authors, J. Warner Wallace. He was an expert witness for Christ in an apologetics book my Sunday School class had studied. Could this forensic detective help my twin twelve-year-olds learn to defend their faith?
I peeked inside the book. Then I checked out the Case Makers Academy website. There I found videos and printables to supplement the book. After previewing a couple of the online videos, I printed the pages for their Cadet Academy Notebooks. The videos, worksheets, and activities would enrich the girls’ study.
I also glanced at the online Leader Guides. These are like lesson plans for each chapter. Each one recommends reading specific sections of the adult version of Forensic Faith. It outlines important concepts from the kids’ book and suggests questions for discussion.
These guides are great resources for homeschool parents. They can also direct a group such as a co-op or Sunday School as they study the book together.
The tough part was determining how to schedule our study. The girls had been working hard with a full schedule of academics, but this book was too good to pass up. How could I fit it in?
I decided that we would take eight days to cover the book, reading a chapter a day. The girls could skip four days of history one week. The following week’s junior detective training could take the place of literature.
Each day we read a chapter of the story together. I usually read the part of the narrator. The girls would read the parts of the various characters.
Occasionally short “sidebars” drew our attention to a Scripture verse or detective term. Some asked questions and gave space for us to write our answers. We chose to address these orally instead. I love the way the sidebars engaged the girls with the story and enriched their understanding.
For each chapter, the girls completed a fill-in note sheet…
and a fun activity sheet from Case Makers Academy.
At first, they filled them in after we had completed the day’s reading. Later, they decided it was more efficient to jot down answers as we read.
The online videos can serve either as a chapter intro or as a review. We used it as the latter. The girls enjoyed hearing directly from the author, J. Warner Wallace.
After watching the chapter video, we went over their worksheet answers together. Even without an answer key, it was easy to tell whether their answer is right or wrong. I also looked over the adult leader guide and used it to discuss the chapter aloud with the girls. We spent between 30 and 45 minutes on our daily apologetics study.
Forensic Faith for Kids picks up where Wallace’s previous two books left off. Had we read them? No, but it was easy to dive right in. All three books center around Detective Jeffries and his Junior Detective Club. The junior cadets, who seem to be about my twins’ age, learn to solve real mysteries.
The story opens as several of the kids are washing cars to raise money for their baseball team. Out of nowhere, a puppy appears. Throughout the book, the kids seek out and examine evidence to determine who the puppy belongs to. By the end of the first chapter, my daughters made a good guess.
But the puppy puzzle is only half of the story. The other part addresses the truth of who Jesus is. One cadet’s friend is worried about another friend, Marco. After reading a book that said Jesus never claimed to be God, Marco began doubting Jesus’ divinity. He had even searched the Gospels to find where Jesus stated, “I am God.” But it wasn’t there.
I was proud of my girls when they immediately pointed to the I AM statements in the Gospel of John. That became a major piece of evidence later in the story.
Junior detective work is not always easy. Almost before they begin investigating, the cadets want to give up. Detective Jeffries encourages them to press on and be persistent. He deploys them into the field to gather evidence. The kids visit a veterinarian, a library, Marco’s house, a dog-raising farm, and a pastor as they seek out the answers to these two puzzling mysteries. They even find a few key pieces of evidence hiding in plain sight. I love how detective skills apply so readily to studying the Bible and defending the faith.
At the end of the book, both mysteries are solved. Of course, you’ll have to read it for yourself to find out exactly how.
Students completing the book and the accompanying activities deserve a reward. Case Makers Academy provides a customizable certificate. I printed one each of the girls.
We all enjoyed studying Forensic Faith for Kids. It brings the complicated-sounding study of apologetics to a level pre-teens can appreciate. Since the book itself is less than ten bucks there is really no reason to pass up this great resource. The twins and I give it a thumbs up!