***Zondervan provided me with a free copy of this book for reviewing purposes. See my full disclaimer below***
Reviewing a Bible is interesting...it's not like you are going to find fault with the Author! Really, aside from different translations, Bibles are Bibles-God's holy word. What distinguishes one from another is the translation and the "extra bits". In the case of this NIV version Bible, the extras are geared toward tweens and teens. Part of the Women of Faith line, this Bible, edited by Susie Shellenberger, is aimed specifically at the younger girl/teen girl audience. Here's the official description:
The study Bible that’s just for girls! This Bible is filled with engaging features that will help you learn more about yourself and your relationship with God. Designed to encourage you to develop a habit of studying God's Word, you’ll discover how relevant the Bible can be to your everyday life. Weekly studies and many of the side notes are also linked to the women's study Bible, the NIV Women of Faith Study Bible, allowing you and your mom to share God's Word together. Features include: Weekly Bible studies apply biblical truths to life Side notes address difficult passages and offer historical and cultural insights Journal captures other girls' experiences or struggles along with space for you to record your own 'I Believe' statements of faith and foundational beliefs 'Memory Challenges' are verses worth remembering 'If I Were There . . .' include Bible stories that place you in the Bible character's situation.
What drew me to wanting to review this Bible, aside from the fact that I have two girls who fall into this demographic, was the author of the "extra" stuff, Susie Shellenberger. Susie, though I've never met her, is a friend of a friend. I know our mutual friend Marti is a woman of integrity and faith, and a strong prayer warrior. I also know she has written for Susie's magazine for a long time, so that spoke volumes to me in terms of affirming that the commentary in this Bible would likely be Biblically solid and have a heart toward these young girls. I was not disappointed. Here's a little bit of a bio for Susie:
Susie Shellenberger Susie Shellenberger travels as a fulltime speaker forty weeks or weekends every year. She has written fifty-two books, and lives in Bethany, Oklahoma with her two mini Schnauzers Obie and Amos. Susie is a former youth pastor, high school teacher, and editor. She loves Sharpies in every color, burnt hotdogs, and praying at OKC Thunder basketball games.So what did I think? I love the bright, cheery cover, and so did my "tween" daughter. She was also enchanted with the graphics inside, and the heavy use of pink ;-). I loved the book intros, as seen below, which offered good insight into what each book is about, but also into what is learned about God in this book, as well as a quick index of important stories or events from the book.
I also really appreciated the weekly Bible studies that are scattered throughout the text. There is one for every week of the year.
There is a guide in the front of the Bible which explains all the features and how to use them, which I thought was super helpful.
The sample journal pages show girls examples of what other girls their age experience or struggle with, as related to scripture. There is even room for your daughter to add her own thoughts.
Key verses are singled out as memory verses.
And side notes add insight or challenge your daughter to think deeper about what they've read.
All in all, I really like this Bible. My daughter claimed it as her own from the moment it arrived at our door, and she's taken it everywhere with her. The NIV version is simple to read and understand and the Bible does an excellent job appealing to their target audience and challenging young women to become young women living for God. You can purchase this Bible from Zondervan's website in either a leather look for $44.99 or the hardcover edition shown above for $29.99.