About Redeemed Reader
Reading Ahead for You
Reviews and Resources Weekly in Your Inbox
Our Philosophy and Practice
As Christians, we are called not to retreat from the world, but to be salt and light in the world, and raise up our children to be the same. This means interacting with our culture, praising the good and admonishing the bad. It means finding hope within ourselves and within others, and explaining that hope with gentleness and respect (I Peter 3:15). It means walking with Jesus along the library shelves, into the schools, over the Internet. His common grace shines in every true work, even if it’s by an unbelieving author or artist—In His light we see light (Ps. 36:9).
What Sets Us Apart
We love the classics, but we also review lots of new books. In fact, most of our reviews are of books published within the last 10 years. This is partly because these books will be more readily available at your local library, but we also believe that reading newer books helps us define our salt-and-light mission. For a more specific rationale see Betsy’s post on leavening the old with the new.
We’re very thankful for Christian publishers, but most of our reviews are from the secular world. One reason, obviously, is because secular publishers produce the most books, and the most widely-read books, some of which (like the The Hunger Games and The Fault in Our Stars) actually influence popular culture. We like to know what these are and what they’re saying, in order to applaud that which is biblical and warn against that which is not.
Beyond simply knowing what’s out there, we also need to engage with these ideas. Most of the books we review we can also recommend, with perhaps a small consideration or two. But sometimes we feature a title that contains objectionable material and yet reflects on society trends. Perhaps it’s required reading in many schools, or just very popular (all the girls in your daughter’s Christian school are passing it around). These are often “edgier” than many conservative Christians feel comfortable with, but they’re an effective way to jumpstart discussion with your own children, or in a youth-group setting or traditional classroom. We call them “Discussion Starters,” and even may include some questions to get the discussion going. But do read the reviews closely to help determine whether they might be useful to your family, small group, or classroom.
We like making connections: If your daughter enjoyed this novel, she may also like that one. If your son is interested in robots or theater or astronomy, we know of some good books (and not-so-good ones) about those subjects. If a story sounds familiar, that may be because it’s based on a parable or fairy tale. Certain themes show up over and over, and we enjoy finding them and helping you to find them too.
We love educators and librarians! In fact, some of us are (or have been) educators and librarians, and almost all of us are parents. So we can’t help ourselves: in addition to reviews, we also host read-alongs, post educational helps and reading guides, and encourage summer reading adventures.