The Radical Book for Kids: Exploring the Roots and Shoots of Faith

Champ Thornton
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The Radical Book for Kids: Exploring the Roots and Shoots of Faith Picture Books
The Radical Book for Kids: Exploring the Roots and Shoots of Faith Picture Books
The Radical Book for Kids: Exploring the Roots and Shoots of Faith Picture Books
The Radical Book for Kids: Exploring the Roots and Shoots of Faith Picture Books
The Radical Book for Kids: Exploring the Roots and Shoots of Faith Picture Books
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ECPA’s 2018 Christian Book Award Winner for Young People’s Literature

The Radical Book for Kids is a fun-filled explorer’s guide to the Bible, church history, and life for boys and girls ages eight and up. Vibrantly illustrated and chock-full of fun facts and ideas, this interactive book competes with screen time by stimulating children’s natural curiosity and sense of adventure!

Get your kids reading again while communicating big truths about life with this one-of-a-kind resource for elementary- and middle-school aged kids.

While providing engaging biblical content in simple, three- to five-page chapters, The Radical Book for Kids will capture the interest of children. The power-packed book takes children on a journey into the ancient church, which is actually fascinating, funny, and fun to read.

Kids learn about ancient weapons (and how to make one), create pottery, discover ancient languages, use secret codes, locate stars, tell time using the sun, play a board game that’s three thousand years old—and more. They’ll also learn about the “radical” men and women who have gone before them and trusted Jesus in the face of great odds.

This remarkable book is a fun, informative, and spiritually edifying resource. Along with the many fun and exciting stories of historical figures, young and old readers alike will learn about the roots of our faith and the importance of the gospel in our lives.

Check out the table of contents, skip around, or read straight through. However a child chooses to explore it, The Radical Book for Kids will open new vistas for their imagination and help to make straight paths for their feet.

*Note: Please enjoy a complimentary PDF of The Radical Book for Kids Family Study Guide, also by Champ Thornton.


Champ Thornton (PhD) is an acquisitions editor at Crossway. He and his wife, Robben, live in Newark, Delaware, have been married since 1996, and enjoy being parents to three energetic teenage children. He’s the author of numbers of books for kids and families, including The Radical Book for Kids, The Serpent Slayer and the Scroll of Riddles, and Why Do We Say Thank You? Learning to Be Grateful. You can learn more about Champ at  


Scot McDonald is an award-winning graphic designer and illustrator. Illustrated books include Wings and Feet and David’s Christmas Wish by Lisa Reinicke. He has designed and illustrated Wise UpWalking with the Wise, and Listen Up by Marty Machowski; The Radical Book for Kids and Radically Different by Champ Thornton; and the Hearts Alive curriculum. He lives with his wife, Betty (a children’s librarian), and a senior cat in Colorado Springs. 

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“As the father of four teens, I found this a fun, informative, and spiritually edifying resource. Alongside telling us where weapons came from, young readers (and older ones) learn how to spend daily time with the Lord. It’s not just about fun facts; it is a spark for discovery of God, his world, and our place in it.”
Michael Horton, Professor, Westminster Seminary California; author of Core Christianity; host of the White Horse Inn broadcast

“I was only a dozen pages into this book before I found myself thinking, 'I wish I'd had this book when I was a kid' and 'I've got to get this book for my kids!' Highly recommended!"
Timothy Paul Jones, C. Edwin Gheens Professor of Christian Family Ministry, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

“I don’t know how he does it, but in The Radical Book for Kids Champ Thornton seems to have mastered the art of communicating with kids, without talking down to them. Lots of topics are immensely important, like God’s attributes and our salvation; others just fun. I wish I had this book during my own childrearing years—and when I myself was a teenager.”
John Frame, Professor of Systematic Theology & Philosophy, Reformed Theological Seminary; author of History of Western Philosophy

The Radical Book for Kids is like an encyclopedia of Truth. Thornton has done something magical here. He’s taken every aspect of the Christian faith, the Word we love, and the character of God and made it accessible to children. It’s everything you’d hope to know and teach in one place, even including stories of historical figures. I’m thankful my kids are still young, so I can use this book to teach them about the roots of our faith. The Radical Book for Kids is radical indeed—radically helpful, radically good.”
Trillia Newbell, Author of Enjoy (forthcoming, 2017), Fear and Faith, and United

“My wife and I only wish that this book had been available for our children and our grandchildren. It’s difficult in a few words to express my appreciation for the attractive and absorbing way it engages the young readers it has in view by highlighting Scripture’s pervasive focus on Christ and by showing the importance of the gospel and its implications for their lives. I commend it most highly.”
Richard B. Gaffin, Jr., Professor of Biblical and Systematic Theology, Emeritus, Westminster Theological Seminary

“Champ gives children and their parents a gift in this book that is fun, practical, and theologically rich. It is a necessary explorer’s guide to the Bible, theology, biblical and church history, and life for boys and girls. It’s a tool for children to learn about God, His Word, His world, and themselves.” 
Justin S. Holcomb, Seminary professor; minister; author of God Made All of Me: A Book to Help Children Protect Their Bodies

The Radical Book for Kids is like packaging that awesome Sunday school teacher you remember in a book. You know, she was the amazing mom who made learning about God a ton of fun but did it with gospel truth that transformed lives. Every family should have a copy of The Radical Book for Kids on their bookshelf—better yet, put it out like a plate of cookies on the coffee table and watch your kids devour it. The most exciting part of all will be seeing your children grow in their passion for God and his Word.”
Marty Machowski, Family pastor; author of The OlogyThe Gospel Story BibleLong Story Short, and other gospel-rich resources for families

“I do not as a habit read books for children, at least I haven’t for several years now. However, I found Champ Thornton’s The Radical Book for Kids to live up to its name. It is unlike anything I remember reading to my children. The scope and content are indeed radically different than the normal storytelling style of so many others. Champ is able to communicate important and sometimes complicated matters in simple and attention-grabbing ways. I would be happy if my graduate students would come to me with the foundational knowledge of some of the issues addressed.”
Michael Barrett, Vice President for Academic Affairs/Academic Dean and Professor of Old Testament, Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary

“The Radical Book for Kids is one book that every family should have in their library. I cannot wait to read it with my children and learn more from it myself. Champ Thornton masterfully weaves together theology, biography, biblical truths, practical application, and interesting activities all in a book that is visual appealing and easy to read. I recommend this book for youth, parents, and new believers of all ages—it is a treasure trove of biblical insight and understanding.”
Melissa Kruger, Women’s Ministry Coordinator at Uptown Church PCA; author of The Envy of Eve: Finding Contentment in a Covetous World and Walking with God in the Season of Motherhood

“Intriguing + edifying = the kind of book I want my kids reading. This is one of them.”
Andy Naselli, Assistant Professor of New Testament and Biblical Theology, Bethlehem College & Seminary

“As I paged through this book, I kept finding assorted facts and tips that never manage to make it into my Sunday school lessons or family devotions—but should! This is a wonder-filled book for kids to explore. They will learn, have fun, and be challenged to grow deeper in faith.”
Jack Klumpenhower, Author of Show Them Jesus; coauthor of The Gospel-Centered Parent and What’s Up?

“I have three daughters and I’m always on the lookout for solid books. Champ Thornton’s Radical Book fits the bill. It was an instant hit with my kids! It’s got great design, rich theology, and is written in language that kids get. It’s a book you should have in your home.”
Mathew B. Sims, Writer and Freelance Editor; author of A Household Gospel; blogger at Grace for Sinners

“Superheroes, beasts, enemies, a (not so) secret mission, the greatest love story! This book will shape for youth a big-God worldview and nurture Christ-exalting living. It’s filled with fascinating nuggets, memorable bites, rich theology, clear wisdom, and fun ideas. The pictures and topics are varied and engaging and will both draw your child into God’s world and Word and propel him or her toward maturity, responsibility, and godliness.” 
Jason S. DeRouchie, Professor of Old Testament and Biblical Theology, Bethlehem College & Seminary

“Champ Thornton’s book shows families how to grow a root system in the Christian faith. It offers a broad base of rich content in meal-sized portions readily accessible to families. The content ranges from an introduction to Scripture, to biblical theology, to historical theology. The elephant jokes and knot tying lessons are a nice bonus. I am putting this on a short list of books I recommend that all our church families own.”
Chris Brauns, Pastor; author of Unpacking Forgiveness

The Radical Book for Kids is a book that every Christian child should own. Full of great insights, fun facts, and great activities, it is the perfect companion to help children unpack the Bible and their faith at a deeper level. We need to encourage our children to develop a love for the Bible that will help them to stand for the Lord in every area of their lives through the years. The Radical Book for Kids will help them to do just that!”
Olly Goldenberg, CHILDREN CAN,

“Champ Thornton's The Radical Book for Kids is a wonderful presentation of core Christian truth and practice that stands out in both style and substance. I can immediately see many possible uses for this book, but I particularly commend it to parents as a fun way to talk about the faith with their kids. There is a feel of randomness in the selections of the topics, but I think that adds to the attractiveness of the book. Highly recommended.”
Stephen Smallman, Author of The Walk-Steps for New and Renewed Followers of Jesus

The Radical Book for Kids is deceptively fun! While preteens are utterly enjoying themselves with the creative games, hands-on projects, laugh-out-loud jokes, and cool stories, Champ Thornton is radically discipling them with a crash course on Bible study methods, hermeneutics, church history, biblical theology, and Christian life and ethics. This is the kind of book that stealthily helps parents, pastors, and teachers make young followers for Jesus Christ.”
Matthew C. Mitchell, Pastor of Lanse Evangelical Free Church; author of Resisting Gossip: Winning the War of the Wagging Tongue; father of four

“In The Radical Book for Kids, Champ Thornton brilliantly combines words, drawing vivid pictures in one’s mind to simplify key spiritual truths. Every parent, grandparent, and spiritual influencer of kids will want a copy for themselves due to the depth, insight, and comprehensive knowledge provided all in one convenient book. Kids will totally relate to the cultural relevance, fun facts, historical heroes, clever illustrations, and hands-on applications provided throughout.”
Darcy Stelzer, KidzLife Ministry Director, New Life Church, Gahanna, Ohio

“I am always looking for that creative spark that creates conversation and simulates the desire to understand the Bible better. It is critical for this age group to achieve that. I’m convinced that this book will provide an amazing conversation to help young people to go deeper in their faith. It will create vibrant faith with the centrality of scripture, generate an interest in theology and could build a great foundation for disciples in the future and living out Christian faith as a teenager. I strongly endorse this book, I think it is well written, informative, engaging and will result hopefully in changed lives.”
Roy Crowne, Executive Director, HOPE

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45 Reviews

  • 5
    Really Cool for elementary Kids/boys.

    Posted by Chris F on 11 05 2023

    Love the lay out and graphics. Cool topics and lots of variety.

  • 5
    A Blend of Bible Knowledge, History, Crafts and so Much More!

    Posted by Parker J. on 11 12 2018

    The Radical Book for Kids is a blend of Bible knowledge, gospel presentation, church history, introduction to languages, crafts, practical living and so much more. There is so much that this book has to offer that just after reading through it once with your children, I am confident that you will realize you are just getting started. After reading through this book I am certain that my sons (4 years old) will be interaction with this book for years to come.

  • 5
    Around Every Corner is a New Suprise!

    Posted by Rachel Tiemeyer on 08 13 2018

    Around every corner is a new surprise in this book! From the wide-ranging topics, to the vibrant and unique design, to a plethora of fun facts,The Radical Book for Kids is a home run devotional book for older elementary and tween boys and girls. It’s a fun-filled explorer’s guide to the Bible, church history, and the Christian life. The best part of all is that deep biblical truths are communicated to kids while stimulating their curiosity and sense of adventure within a gospel-centered framework. Tucked in the midst of quirkiness is teaching about God’s attributes, our salvation, and what radical faith in our promise-keeping God looks like. Jack (my 11-year-old) read through this book in a matter of days last year, and Hannah (my 9-year-old) is currently working her way through it each morning. Sometimes I read it to her, and sometimes she reads it on her own. Both kids have required no prompting from me to keep at it and have enjoyed telling me the cool facts they are learning along the way.

  • 5
    I give it a huge thumbs up!

    Posted by A Mom AfterGod’s Own Heart on 12 28 2016

    What a delightful book for children over eight years of age. It is full of not only Bible stories, but crafts, games and a ton of information about great figures in church history. It allowed my children, ages 8 and 10, to really learn about the foundational truths of the Bible in a way that was fun and at their developmental level. It will be a book we will use for much time to come. I love that even with all the information, and there is a lot, everything in the book points back to the importance of a relationship with Jesus Christ. I very much enjoyed going through the book with my children and I highly recommend this book!

  • 4
    This is such a unique and fun book for kids.

    Posted by Ramblings of a California Couponer on 12 20 2016

    This is such a unique and fun book for kids. With the easy-to-read language, fun stories, games, crafts, and more, it keeps kids engaged and interested while teaching them about foundational Christian truths and Jesus.

  • 5
    Awesome Book!

    Posted by The Bennettar Academy/ on 12 01 2016

    When I received this book in the mail to review (Thank you, Litfuse!), Gigi immediately was drawn to it and snatched it up to start reading the first chapter. Things I look forward to going through with my kids are the glimpses at the lives of famous Christians like St. Augustine and Martin Luther, language tidbits and what things mean, basic apologetics, and why we do the things we do as Christians. The goal of this book is to help children “grow deep roots of faith,” and I can’t think of anything I want more deeply for my kids than this, to know and love and experience the great love of “the radical Rescuer of rebels.”

  • 4
    I love how there are so many different things to read about and learn!

    Posted by on 11 30 2016

    I love how there are so many different things to read about and learn! This is something I will be giving my 9 year old for Christmas. It’s a book that will hold his attention for hours and be teaching him the most important things of all. He will be able to us it as a reference for years to come.

  • 4
    What an excellent book!

    Posted by A Year of Jubilee Reviews on 11 30 2016

    What an excellent book! This for sure needs to be on your Christmas list.

  • 5
    This is a great resource for when you kids are starting to read the Bible

    Posted by A Room Without Books Is Empty on 11 23 2016

    This is a great resource for when you kids are starting to read the Bible themselves and they have questions. This book helps by addressing some of those questions in language that they can understand. A good quality book that will stand up to lots of handling. I wish I had had this book when I was homeschooling.

  • 5
    This book was an utter delight!

    Posted by Perfect Beginnings on 11 22 2016

    This book was an utter delight! I did not know what to expect but I can safely say that it exceeded all expectations . This book is a wonderful resource for younger kids as it presents church history in an informative and interesting way, I know I was utterly sucked into the book and found it to be really fun. I look forward to holding onto it for when my kids are older, this would be a great home schooling book for sure or just to have on hand.

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