Raising Readers, Read-alongs, Reading Guides, Resources
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Pilgrim’s Progress: Mission Adventure



Reformation Day has been celebrated in Germany, Slovenia, and in many Protestant and Lutheran churches around the world for centuries.  Though admittedly a minor holiday within those church calendars, it falls on the anniversary of Martin Luther’s nailing of his 95 theses to the door of the cathedral of Wittenberg, Germany in 1517.  I was a college student before I encountered Reformation Day, and even then, I wasn’t exactly sure what everyone was celebrating.

So, what’s worth celebrating about the Reformation?  Maybe I should start with what it’s not.  It’s not anti-Catholicism, or narrow-minded denominational snobbery.  It’s not that we think Reformed folks are the only ones who’ll be in heaven. We don’t.  It’s also not celebrating rebellion or sticking-it-to-the-man, which is what our culture often finds heroic about Martin Luther.  What I’d like to focus on, at least for our site, is that the Reformation, with all its Solas (Christ alone, Scripture alone, etc.), helped Christians take their eyes away from all the distractions and excesses of medieval Christianity and look again to Christ and His Word.

And that’s an idea we think is worthy of more than one day to celebrate.  Which is why we’re declaring this October Reformation Month at our site.  We’ll take a look at a few significant Reformed authors of the past, as well as those working in our culture today.  And we hope to do so in a way that will help your children appreciate the gospel so treasured by Luther and many of his Reformed friends.

And what if you’re not Reformed?  We hope very much you won’t feel left out.  Many of the authors we’ll be chatting with and books we’ll be reviewing will be of interest to Christians of varying persuasions.  But we do hope you’ll appreciate a little more the kindness God has shown His people through the people and ideas of the Reformation, and why it matters today.

PILGRIM’S PROGRESS: Mission Adventure

To kick off the month, we’re hosting two Pilgrim’s Progress read-alongs.  Janie will be reading the original text, and I will be reading Dangerous Journey, a picture book edition for children 9-12 (though I successfully read it to my five- and four-year-olds, using a few tricks I’ll reveal along the way).  But more than just reading the book, we’ll be helping you take your kids on a literary adventure–dividing up each text into four week segments to create a devotional guide for parents and kids.  Our commentary will include discussion questions, illuminating Bible verses, and even age-appropriate crafts and school assignments.  And if you’re too busy to read along with us right now, we’ll hopefully provide a download at the end you can use at your convenience.  Are you excited yet?  We are!

So, for the details:

  • Dangerous Journey by Oliver Huntin.  I (Emily) will use this version, which uses a lot of text from the original and is probably best suited for kids 9-12.  However, I hope to make it accessible for kids as young as three or four using summaries and simple discussion questions.  It’s a process you can use for reading any complicated text to your kids, and is especially helpful in reading the Bible to them.  The illustrations seems especially suited to boys, but my girls have gone over the pages reviewing them (and their spiritual meaning) many times.  We’ll read through 2 chapters a week, beginning on Wednesday, October 12, and we should be able to finish the week of October 31.

Christianbook.com has this version on sale new for $13.49.  Amazon.com marketplace has used copies of Dangerous Journey: The Story of Pilgrim’s Progress listed as low as $6.67.

  •  For older readers (including teens and adults!), Janie will be using an unabridged copy of the original text.  She’ll cover roughly 40 pages a week for four weeks, to begin next week (Oct. 10-14) and end the week of October 31.  The cheapest and least abridged copies I’ve found are through Project Gutenberg and Google ebooks.  I think they can both be read on your computer, and Project Gutenberg is only 89 pages printed out.  But that’s admittedly not as nice as a nice ebook or handheld copy.  If you’d like to buy a cheap but decent e-copy, there is a Kindle version, The Pilgrim’s Progress – Unabridged With Original Illustrations, which goes for $2.86.

A couple of other useful versions for Janie’s readers:


You can certainly read along without letting us know.  But if you’d like to receive an email at the end of each week with a review of the week’s reading assignment, commentary, and crafts/school assignments, as well as what’s coming up, please let us know in the comments below. (You will be able to leave us your email when you post the comment, but it won’t show up in your post or be shared with the public.  And I suppose we should remind you that we promise never to sell your email information or give it to anyone else under any condition.)

Once the series is over, we may end up charging a small fee for those who want a .pdf download of the entire series after we’re done.  That doesn’t apply to these posts, by the way.  They’ll always be free.  But if you sign up for the read-along now or anytime before we’re all done, we’ll give you that final summary .pdf download for free.  Plus, you’ll be entered for our drawings for free books later in the month!

To get started with our read along for older students and adults, see Janie’s Pilgrim’s Progress: Introduction.  For younger kids, see Emily’s Dangerous Journey, Part 1.

This is admittedly new territory for us.  But we hope you’ll appreciate our attempt to be really specific and help parents use one of the most treasured stories of Christian history to enrich children’s lives.  (And if not, we hope you’ll tell us that, too!)  And of course, be on the lookout for the contests, giveaways, and colorful interviews that we have in store for the rest of October!


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  1. Erin says

    I would love to be included in the emails. I’m looking forward to reading with you!

  2. My kids adore Dangerous Journey! I got it for them when my oldest was four, I think. He’s now nine, and they both still love to read it and/or look at the pictures. Wonderful book!

  3. emily says

    Thanks for the testimonial, Kim! I’m glad my kids aren’t the only ones.

  4. Karen says

    I would love to get the emails also- I think my 5 yr old would enjoy this… Thanks so much!

  5. emily says

    So glad to have you along, Karen! Btw, I’ve decided to wait until Wednesday to start Dangerous Journey. I hope you guys don’t mind. I have a couple of books for Columbus Day that I really want to squeeze in, and I actually would do well to give myself a bit more time to prepare for such a Dangerous Journey. : )

  6. Andie says

    I’d appreciate the e-mails. We’ve read Dangerous Journey to our kids several times over the years but I am not very good at coming up with questions to help them think about the story. I enjoy your blog! Thanks for sharing your thoughts and all these great books with us. My son really enjoyed reading Lawn Boy this summer, which I wouldn’t have come across if it weren’t for your recommendation.

  7. Please add me to the emails! I read this to my 4 1/2 year old earlier this year, and he loves it. He’s into St. George and the Dragon right now and revisited Christian and his armor and journeys yesterday, then declared that his to-do list consisted of killing giants (Despair) and dragons. I’d be glad to share the book with him again! Thanks!

  8. Kellie says

    Please add me to the emails; we own dangerous journey, but I haven’t read through it with my 7, 5 and 3 year olds yet. Looking forward to it!

  9. emily says

    Thanks, Megan and Kellie! I can’t wait for us to get started tomorrow, Lord willing.

  10. Stephanie says

    Please send me the emails. I will be reading Dangerous Journey to my little ones.

  11. I would love to be included in the emails. I have never read The Pilgrim’s Progress; I’m kind of intimidated, but would love to give it a try with your assistance! I’m also interested in getting The Dangerous Journey to read to / teach to my 2nd grade students.

  12. emily says


    I’ll email my contact at Eerdmans to see if they have any teacher discounts.

  13. Susan in La says

    We’ve read Dangerous Journey, Little Pilgrim’s Progress, and Pilgrim’s Progress over the years. I’m going to be studying Pilgrim’s Progress and Dangerous Journey with my younger children in a few weeks, and I would appreciate the emails.

  14. The two comic book guys are my sons – “Flint” and “Bone”. I didn’t realize their picture would show up with my name. 🙂 I’ve linked to their website if anyone is interested in reading their reviews of comics.

  15. emily says

    Thanks for signing up, Susan! And for the link to your sons’ website. I read a number of posts and I’m very impressed. We have only reviewed a few comics, but they are a kind of lit I think Christians should probably pay more attention to.

  16. Thank you for this inspirational series! Please include me in the emails.

    We loved Dangerous Journey, and my four-year-old didn’t have any trouble with the language (we’ll see about his brother though…)

    Two books I would love your perspective on:

    Martin Luther: A Man Who Changed the World by Paul Maier (0758606265)

    John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress, paraphrase by Gary Schmidt, illustrated by Gary Moser

    Thanks again!

  17. Alane says

    Just read this post – we’d begun our own household, month-long celebration of Christ through Reformation reading and hymn-singing. (My boys love breaking out the warrior hymns in this season.)I did’t realize you were tying PP into this…so are we! Thank you for your insights and guides…please add me to your weekly emails, if it isn’t too late. And I’d like to buy the guides at the series closing, too.

    So much here…a fun family discussion has been abt. Gutenberg, around a Leonard E. Fisher book by that name. I’d also enjoy a review of M.Luther: A Man Who Changed the World, if either of you are up for it (or if another reader would like to review it!).

    So appreciate Janie’s emphasis on the Reformation NOT being a polemic against our Catholic brethren. We’re trying to find ways to view the Reformation in the light of the ebb and flow of Christ’s kingdom-building, of HIS-tory…takes a lot of work!

    Along that note, here’s something I found I’d love to share – Ligonier Ministries has a new series for children by Sinclair Ferguson about pre-reformation reformers and martyrs (Polycarp…). I was thrilled to find these and thought I’d pass along the find.

    thanks again!

  18. emily says

    Thanks, Shanna and Alane. So much good stuff in your comments! Shanna, the M. Luther would be a great book to review. There are aspects of the book that are exceptional, but I haven’t read it critically.

    And no, Alane, it’s not too late to join our emails! I hope to send the first one out Monday. Ligonier has become one of the stars in Christian children’s publishing. Thanks for telling me about the Ferguson books!

  19. Sydni Bamberg says

    Just found your blog through another blogger. I would love to receive e-mail notices of what you are doing with this book! We are studying the reformation this year in school–this is perfect! Thanks.

  20. Jodi Smith says

    This site has been a wonderful tool in helping me teach this book to my kids and students. Why is Chapter 9 not covered?

    • emily says


      I appreciate this question so much! I was planning to do Chapter 9, but I simply ran out of time. I let it slide since it covers an entirely separate book in the original… However, we are putting together a download with some extra materials, and I’ll be sure to include Chapter 9 then. That should be in the week or two after Thanksgiving, so you shouldn’t have to wait too long. Any suggestions for activities?

  21. Pingback: Book Review: Pilgrim’s Progress: A Retelling | Eye Level Books

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