Recently I've been reading No Cape Required: A Devotional: 52 Ways to Unleash Your Inner Hero by Kristen Parrish, which was provided to me by BookSneeze for this review. In this book, the author takes a look at 52 heroes from popular culture, like Katniss Everdeen from the Hunger Games, Marlin, from Finding Nemo, and Indiana Jones from The Raiders of the Lost Ark, describes an heroic quality that character displays, and shows how the reader can acquire each of these qualities. Each devotion is just 3-4 pages, and includes a brief description of the hero and their story, a parallel or example of that heroic quality from the Bible, a prayer, and action steps one can take to cultivate that particular heroic quality in their own life.
One story that really resonated with me was the story of Alfred Pennyworth, Loyal Manservant to Batman. Ms. Parrish writes:
While Batman is out mixing it up with dastardly enemies, he knows with utter certainty that back at Wayne Manor resides someone who's taking care of everything else, someone he can trust to keep all his secrets, who cares about him as much as any father, and who--through his quiet service--makes it possible for Batman to do what he does.
Resourceful and unflappable, Alfred may not be the one having the exciting adventures, but he is a vital part of Wayne's life, with skills as varied as maintaining the batmobile, building the batcomputer, and keeping the Caped Crusader's costume in pristine condition.
Sounds familiar :)
I like this book. The devotions are nice and short, each taking about 5 minutes to read. I've enjoyed the devos about heroes that I know a little better than the ones I don't know, but the author does a great job explaining each hero's story, so I can appreciate even the ones I've never heard of. The format is such that you could read one each week, and spend the rest of the week working on the action steps, completing the volume in one year. Or it would be just as easy to read one each day, finishing the book in about 8 weeks.
This would also be a great resource for parents or youth ministry leaders who wish to encourage certain attributes in their charges. The table of contents lists the character and his or her heroic attribute, so it's easy to pick an applicable hero's story to share with your child.
Thank you to BookSneeze for providing me with a free copy of No Cape Required, for the purposes of my review. All opinions are my own.