As a Catholic, and a teacher who covers The Bible as Literature in my classroom, I am always looking for resources that will allow my students to connect with the Bible as a powerful and influential work. Naturally, when I discovered The Action Bible and The Action Bible Handbook as well as the devotional, I was thrilled, and delighted to be offered the chance to review them. This series focuses on telling the stories of the Bible in graphic-novel format, with comic book style captions and brightly colored illustrations. The Action Bible is a beautifully bound comprehensive work that is broken down according to story (with references to where those items can be found in the Bible) and features over 700 pages of Biblical stories, plus a comprehensive index. The format is so approachable that some of my students decided to read The Action Bible rather than the traditional version. The Action Bible Handbook, however, is what really made this series amazing. It is a great reference that is encyclopedic in nature so that students can look up a character, location, or other key detail, and find a well-detailed entry as well as citations for where it is located in the Bible. My students found this incredibly helpful as they work (with varying levels of Biblical background) to understand the connection between the Biblical text and contemporary culture, and were eager to use this as a resource.
I loved the fact that the content was strong and well-researched, but also featured the bright, beautiful pictures that truly set the Action Bible series apart from similar resources. The Action Bible Devotional is another powerful resource which has 365 days of reflections and questions for teens to evaluate passages from the Bible as well as their own faith.
I honestly found the entire series to be incredibly powerful, especially for reluctant readers or students who assume that the Bible is filled with dry, dull stories. The approachability of the texts drew me in, but the content and quality kept me (and my students) engaged. These are powerful resources which can help anyone better understand the Bible.