For review purposes, Tyndale House Publishers has provided me with a complimentary copy of The One Year Be-Tween You & God Devotional for Girls by Sandra Byrd (2012). I picked this book to review because it is aimed at girls ages 9-14, and my oldest daughter is right in that range (age 10).
Each day’s reading begins with presenting an issue or question that is relevant to girls. Then a discussion follows of how one might go about answering this question, followed by a Bible verse and a summary application point. The layout of each day lends toward its accessibility, a mixture of substance and clarity. The size and color of the devotional also make it attractive for this age group.
What I like about this devotional is that it has provided the backdrop for some really good conversations with my two daughters (age 10 and 8). It uses words and illustrations that easily translate into a young girls’ experience, making it an easy bridge to cross in relating God’s word to each situation. My daughters (esp. the oldest) have seemed to really enjoy it too.
I have two criticisms, but they are relatively minor. First, even though we’ve only gone through about 3 weeks worth of readings, there have been several times that I wished that more were said about how Christ and the Cross addresses these questions. My wife and I make a point to try and relate as much as possible of our family’s day to day lives to the saving events of Christ and the Cross. I wish the devotional supported us better in this task. Second, I wish there were more tools and suggestions to explore our daughter’s heart, and not just deal with surface behavior. It does touch on this, but not enough in my opinion.
Finally, I asked my oldest daughter to write down some of her thoughts and impressions:
“It helps me think through my faith, helps with normal Christian girl problems. It’s not too serious, has some funny things in it; these things help me relate to what they are saying. I like the “How About You” section, because it communicates with girls. I kind of like the whole book because not only is it my favorite color, but it kind of speaks.”