I’ve had my eye on this book for a while and was planning to purchase it so you cannot imagine how thrilled I was when the opportunity came up to review For You They Signed by Marilyn Boyer. Last night I had to take my husband to the emergency room to have is finger looked at after he cut it with a crow bar. Upon finding this book at the top of my review pile, my son brought it out to the car for me to take along. It’s a good thing he did, we were at the e.r. for four hours and for two of those I was waiting alone in the waiting room. Under such circumstances, it is always good to have quality reading material.
The first thing I noticed was the gorgeous cover. For You They Signed is a thick hardcover book with 342 pages. The book includes biographical essays on all 52 signers of The Declaration of Independence. When Marilyn Boyer was asked the question “How many of the 52 signers can you name?” she could only answer with three. (The three I knew were John Hancock, Thomas Jefferson, and John Adams…) Thus the idea for this book was born, and in her research Mrs. Boyer uncovered a largely unknown heritage of Christianity among the signers of our Declaration.
The next thing I noticed were the gorgeous illustrations within the book. The illustrator Linda Liner did a wonderful job of depicting each of the signers in portraiture. In addition, Mrs. Boyer found a wonderful resource which included drawings of each of the houses of the signers which are included. This combined with the appealing layout of text, the reproduction font and the typesetting style make the pages of the book a delight to study.
In my perusal of the book, the next thing I noticed was the wealth of information included in each essay. The essays vary in length depending on how much information about the subject was available. Each essay includes quotations from actual peers about the person highlighted in the essay. These ‘peer source’ quotations often reference the person’s Christian character. An overall view of each person’s life is given, and a more detailed view of each person’s involvement in the American Revolution and signing of The Declaration of Independence is included.
A final outstanding feature I found in For You They SIgned was the sidebar. Each biographical sketch included multiple sidebar sections which often included direct source quotations from literature written by or about the person being sketched, quotations from letters between the subject and another Declaration signer, and other direct source material. Sidebars also listed important dates, information about marriages and children and other quick glance information that helped outline the essay material quickly and prepare me for the essay.
Written for Junior High through Adult readers, the material in For You They Signed can be approached in several ways. It can be used as family devotions, individual studies, or as a combination of family and individual study. Questions at the end of each biographical essay help reinforce the material. An online download provided for free to owners of the book provides coloring pages and activity pages to keep younger children engaged if the book is being used as a family read aloud.
My Bottom Line: I am already contemplating how this book will fit into the gift giving I need to do this year. I was absolutely as delighted with this book as I expected to be when I first saw mention of it — when it won the 2009 Vision Forum Homeschool Resource of the Year award. I anticipate using this book for our history studies during our next school year for my ten and twelve year olds. I think every American Christian family ought to have a copy on this book, homeschool or not.
And by the way, after a soak in saltwater, two suture strips, a z-pack, and power motrin my husband’s finger is going to be just fine.
Disclaimer: This book was provided for free through the New Leaf Publishing book reviewers program in exchange for an honest review on my blog. Here you have it.