The Breastplate of Righteousness: Clever and amusing Catholic children’s story

 Illustrator: Theresa Linden

Publisher: Silver Fire Publishing

Age Range: 8 – 12

This is the second book in Theresa Linden’s Armor of God series.  Read my review of the first book in the series HERE.  The stories of this series were inspired by a Biblical passage (Ephesians 6: 13-17) in which Paul describes the Armor of God.  In book One, young George is thrilled to be accepted into Knight School, and manages to earn the Belt of Truth. In this second book of the series, George is struggling to work out how he will earn the Breastplate of Righteousness.

Theresa Linden cleverly presents George’s dilemma.  Through a series of events, George becomes entangled in a situation that doesn’t seem to have a clear solution.  George is confused.  No matter what he chooses to do, he can’t seem to make things right. In fact, whenever he does the ‘right’ thing, it turns out all ‘wrong’.

It is a situation that children will relate to: should George obey his father?  Lend a helping hand to a friend?  Stand up and fight?  Walk away? No matter what George chooses to do he seems to be disappointing someone.

George continues to grapple with his situation until the final pages.  He stands his ground but doesn’t fight.  Instead, he makes peace and repairs his friendship with Henry.  Ultimately, he earns the Breastplate of Righteousness.

I’m enjoying the development of characters in this series.  Young readers will relate to the dilemmas that George has to work through.  His younger brother, Erik, and friend, Robyn, provide moral support and encouragement as the story progresses.

There are short catechist lessons interspersed between chapters. These short passages between chapters provide a place to pause and think about George’s dilemma and provide a ‘moral compass’ in the story.  Occasional simple drawings also provide visual aids to young readers.  This is well pitched to a younger readership, or to less confident readers.  The print is large, chapters short and the story moves along quickly.

There is surprising theological depth to this clever story that gently draws the reader into the everyday confusion of deciding what is right and what is wrong in any given situation. I recommend this series for your home or classroom.  There is plenty to discuss and think about if you read these stories aloud with your children.

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