The niche market for Christian Boys’ biblical literature has never faced more stiff competition. Nothing sells like sexism, as Zondervan well knows with its Big Bad Bible Giants, 2:52 Boys Bible, andPrecious Princess Bible. But now, the David C. Cook ministry brings Christian boys Triple Dog Dare: One Year of Dynamic Devotions for Boys by Jeremy V. Jones.
The cover features a boyish “David”, armed with a boyish slingshot, confronting a mechanised Goliath. The young rapscallion! The message is clear:
Boys want action. They don’t want to sit around and talk—that’s for grown-ups and girls. They engage life and relationships by doing something: skateboarding, playing games or re-creating favorite movie scenes. So why should faith be any different? That’s why Jeremy V. Jones created Triple Dog Dare: One Year of Dynamic Devotions for Boys—to provide the action boys need in order to grow their faith.
The Bible is full of action. Remember how David slew Goliath, Daniel faced those lions, Paul survived a shipwreck and Jesus stood up for a woman about to be killed? God made boys to take His truth and do something with it, to man up and change the world.
Well, yes, that’s the message. During his formative years, you can drive the girliness out of your boy. Did I say “boy”? No – “man up”, 8-12 year olds. It’s a man’s world for you to take, while the girls and womenfolk just sit around and talk as they are wont to do.
People are always asking me, “Can you recommend a basic introduction to the Giants of the Bible?” Well, yes I can! One of the most basic introductions to biblical Giants isBig Bad Bible Giants, authored by Ed Strauss and illustrated by Anthony Carpenter (published by the Zondervan children’s subdivision, Zonderkidz).
I’m serious. If you want a basic introduction to the Giants of the Bible, let this be your guide. It covers all the Giants of the Bible, including the Nephilim, the Rephaites, the Zamzummites, the Emites, the Anakites, the Avvites, King Og of Bashan, Goliath, Lahmi, and Ishbi-Benob of Gath, Anak, Ahiman, Sheshai, Talmai, and the multidigit monster – with cartoons.
What’s more, this is a book for boys. Not for girls. Apparently, only young Christian boys should take an interest in the gory occupation of slaying Giants. But wait, you say, hasn’t the author ever heard of Buffy? Alas, even Buffy could not grow to the physical proportions of Our Lord:
Perfect for boys aged 8 to 12, the 2:52 series is based on Luke 2:52: “And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.” Focussing on four primary areas of growth, this guiding verse can help boys become more like Jesus mentally (smarter), physically (stronger), spiritually (deeper), and socially (cooler). From Bibles and devotionals to fiction and nonfiction, with plenty of gross and gory mixed in, there is something for every boy.
The 2:52 series also offers these other boyish (not girly) titles: Bible Heroes and Bad Guys, Bible Angels and Demons, Bible Wars and Weapons, Creepy Creatures and Bizarre Beasts from the Bible, Weird and Gross Bible Stuff, Bible Freaks and Geeks, and Seriously Sick Bible Stuff. That’s the sorts of things that boys just love, but girls do not, according to Zondervan’s 2:52 series.
And in addition to all this, for your rough-and-tumble, O-God-I-pray-every-night-that-he’s-heterosexual, scalliwag of a Christian boy, Zonderkidz publishes the 2:52 Boys Bible: The Ultimate Manual – complete with grey metallic plating on the front cover:
Finally a Bible just for boys! Discover gross and gory Bible stuff. Find out interesting and humorous Bible facts… Learn how to become more like Jesus mentally, physically, spiritually, and socially.
And just before you can say “gender stereotype”, let’s place the metal-plated 2:52 Boys Bible alongside what Zondervan offers for little girls… The Precious Princess Bible:
Just to top off this survey of systematic sexism at Zondervan, here’s a quote from the Zondervan Blog which proudly affirms that God does not discriminate!
“There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28). God does not discriminate on the basis of gender, or race, or socio-economic status. All are invited, all are included.
– Keri Wyatt Kent, 2 October 2009, Zondervan Blog.
If God does not discriminate, Zondervan seems determined to do it for Him. Whether Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male or female, Zondervan has a niche market just for you!