Book Review: Just Believe

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Just Believe, written by David Edgren and illustrated by Maryellen Hacko.

Just Believe
David Edgren

I have always loved the story of Jairus’ daughter. It’s one of those stories that has so many intertwined threads: the desperate father coming to the controversial rabbi for healing; Jesus pausing along the way to save another woman; the father hearing that his little girl has passed away; and the miracle of Jesus raising the child from the dead.

It’s a great story, but the punchline is when Jesus turns to the grief-stricken parent and says, “Don’t be afraid; just believe” (Mark 5:36).

Just Believe—a new book by author David Edgren—is a captivating read, retelling the story of the resurrection of Jairus’ daughter for kids. It walks kids through the journey of faith that Jairus and his family took—a journey that led them to accept Jesus’ ability to heal their little girl and to be willing to accept His help.

The distinction that the story makes between these two points really makes the story compelling. The two pivotal questions the story asks are: Is Jesus able to help me? And am I willing to go to Him for help? How we answer those two questions defines our spiritual experience.

Our family read Just Believe for evening worship and my girls loved the story. They enjoyed the fact that it was written in the first person, opening the door to Talitha’s thoughts and feelings. It was like walking her journey with her and that gave them a special connection with the character.

A good book does three things: it educates, inspires and empowers. Just Believe does that for kids. It gave my girls a more layered understanding of a story they had read before, it inspired them to experience Jesus for themselves and it empowered them to respond to God. The book has a study guide section at the back that helps you to think about the story and pull it apart as you read. We were blessed as we read this book and I believe that you will be blessed as you read it, whether you’re a little kid (like my girls) or a big kid (like me).

Just Believe and other books by David Edgren are available from Adventist bookstores in Australia and New Zealand, or online.