Awhile back, my other son did one of the unit studies on Jim Elliot also put out by YWAM Publishing. At that point, I had access to the digital versions of both the book and the study guide. I personally like to have hard copies of products and since I enjoyed this particular study so much I went ahead and purchased both the book and study guide a few years later. I actually had my son go through the book and study guide for a book report. My son loved it and enjoyed the study guide activities and the variety of activities presented. When we had first reviewed it, my kids were younger and not yet old enough to read the book on their own. At that point, I read it aloud and guided them through the study guide. Once my son reached fifth grade, I thought he was ready to read and study it on his own so that's why I went ahead and purchased it.
Now that I had the opportunity to review another book and study guide from YWAM Publishing, I let my other son pick out who he wanted to study. It crossed my mind that the book might be a grade level or two above his reading level but he seemed really excited about reading about Milton Hershey when I mentioned possible ones to choose from. I figured, if the book was too hard, we could just read it together and I could help him with the hard words. That is usually how I do reading in our house anyways. They have a book that they read on their own but they also have a more challenging book that they read with me each day. This way I can help them with difficult words and help them work on their vocabulary skills.
I was right. Even though he reads the book well, there are many vocabulary words that he just doe not know in the book. Reading it together and going over some of the study guide questions together has been working well. He is ten and reads at a forth grade reading level. On the other hand, his older brother was able to read and do the study questions on his own when I had him working on the Jim Elliot study. He was ten a the time. So I guess it depends on the child. If you have an advanced reader, then I would think ten and up for these books would be fine. If not, then I would probably wait until they are eleven or twelve.
For the review, I received a hard copy of the book and a digital version of the study guide. Even though I would normally prefer a hard copy of both, having the digital version of the study guide was not that bad. I was just glad to have the hard copy of the book so my son could have a physical product to hold.
I was not surprised when my son picked Milton Hershey since he is the baker in my family. He loves to both cook and bake but usually bake. The funny thing is, he likes the process of baking more so than actually eating the food. Creating edible treats is just fun for him. Even though there are many Christian Heroes that you can choose to have your kids study, there are also Heroes of History such as Milton Hershey. I noticed that the books and study guides are presented in the same format, they just have a different focus. My son has loved learning about Milton Hershey and we are even planning to visit Hershey (yes, I know it's not an actual "town" but I still refer to that area as Hershey!) He is looking forward to not only the chocolate tour but seeing the school that he started there. It really is an amazing place! I personally know someone who went through that school and is now a successful teacher.
If you are wanting your middle school or advanced upper elementary student to work on an independent project or book study then this is for you.