Tuesday 4 August 2015

The Return of the White Book

This summer, I have been looking for titles for a book club at our local home education group. The theme is the World and we hope to start with the continent of Asia.

I was rather interested when I found Return of the White Book partly, as I had already enjoyed some titles in this series with my eight year old and partly, because this sounded ideal for the book club. What is more, I wasn't disappointed.
Return of the White Book
Return of the White Book is the story of how the Gospel came to hill tribes in Burma in the nineteenth century. The Karen tribe had an oral tradition about Creation and the Fall. They believed that God had gone away from them as a result of their sin but that instead they had to appease evil spirits. Fascinatingly, they also believed a story that one day a white man would come, from over the sea bearing a white book which would tell them how they could be reconciled with God.

Adoniram Judson came to Burma in the early part of the nineteenth century. One of his early co-workers, George Boardman, was sent to the town of Tavoy, nearer to the tribes. A member of the Karen tribe who went with Boardman was the means of translating for and introducing Boardman to the tribes. Soon, they met members of a village which held a sacred book. No one could read the book but it was venerated, even worshiped, as possibly being the book of their legends. The book turned out to be the Book of Common Prayer! Boardman and his co-worker were able to teach, at this stage, not from the Bible in Karen but from the Bible and a catechism in Burmese.

Many of the people of the tribes had their hearts opened to the Gospel and were converted. The entrance of the Gospel gave the people liberty from many of their fears.

The return of the White Book describes the lives of some dedicated workers for the Lord. George Boardman who died aged 30  in the midst of his ministry to the tribes was particularly used to bring God's Word to the Karen people. 

There is plenty to discuss. There are a couple of sections at the back of the book which help with this. One of these sections deals with sources used for the book under the title About the missionaries or How much of this story is really true? The other section is Thinking further and deals with some of the questions that might be discussed in a book club or that you might like to talk about with your children.

I would highly recommend this book. It is suitable for children from about 6+ as a read aloud and for children from about 9 as an independent read. The book, ideally, should be read alongside Irene Howat's biography of Adoniram Judson, Danger on the Streets of Gold. Although, The Return of the White Book is a children's book, there is much in it which is food for thought for adults. 

Disclaimer: I was provided with Return of the White Book for review purposes. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions are mine.

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  1. This sounds like a book that our family would really be interested in and enjoy. I think we also already have the Adoniram Judson book, so that is handy! Thank you for sharing this book :-)

    1. Definitely worth reading. I found it difficult to put down. I have started reading this with my eight year old and it seems very successful.