Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Hawk That Dare Not Hunt by Day - Book 11, 52 in 52

The Hawk That Dare Not Hunt by Day by Scott O'Dell is an excellent piece of historical fiction set during the reign of King Henry VIII of England.  Tom Barton, a young sailor/smuggler, decides to smuggle into England some pamphlets written by Martin Luther for profit.  As he looks for buyers, he seeks out William Tyndale for help.  Tyndale at that time has decided to leave England and go to Germany to work on his English translation of the Bible.  He makes a deal with Tom's Uncle Jack for passage to Germany and for the rights to smuggle his completed Bibles back into England once the printing is complete.  For Tom what begins as another means of profit becomes a life changing event as he develops a bound with the famous scholar, is taught by him how to read, and begins for the first time to study the Bible using Tyndale's translation. 

This piece of historical fiction definitely makes my must read list for the kids.  The historical detail is excellent.  Although not directly about Tyndale, it gives an excellent glimpse into what life would have been like for him during the Reformation of Europe.  The plot is filled with twists and turns occurring naturally based on the political forces of intrigue actually present in Europe at the time.  It's one of those books that you won't want to put down once you've gotten started.  I would recommend this one for ages 10 and up.

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