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Book Review: The Lightlings

21 Oct

I’ve enjoyed any book I’ve read by R.C. Sproul. I’ve often appreciated his ability to graciously and clearly teach complex or controversial subjects through his writings. This is the first book I’ve read by Sproul that is for children or that is fiction and I really enjoyed it for what it was. It is a very short story filled with great illustrations along the way. It is the story of a people called “The Lightlings” which is also the name of the book.


This is a nice wide-bodied book. It is also a very short book; easy to read and keep the attention of young children. It is full of illustrations and pictures for almost every page of text.


As the back of the back describes the “lightlings are a picture of humanity as they pass through all the stages of the biblical drama—creation, fall, and redemption” and may I add, consummation.

I liked how the story was set within the framework of a problem that almost all humans have encountered at one time or another; a problem that children will most certainly be familiar with. That problem is being afraid of the dark.

At the beginning of the book Charlie (the young child to whom this story is being told) asks his grandpa, “Grandpa, why am I afraid of the dark?” And so the stage is set as the Grandpa goes way back to the beginning and tells of how the Lightlings began as children of the great God of the Light and then fell into darkness. He then goes on to describe how the God of the light sent His Son into the darkness to save His children and bring His children back into the light and spend eternity with Him in His great light.

At the end of the book Sproul has some extremely helpful questions to go over with your children after finishing the book. They help to draw out all of the themes, events, and characters of the book and show the reality they are pointing to. He also gives Scriptures as helpful answers to these questions.


I loved the simplicity and profundity of this biblical illustration of light and darkness that Sproul used. It is a theme so simple and relatable that young children can begin to grasp it and yet profound enough to give the deepest thinkers something to ponder and be thankful for.

This seems like a great book to consider when choosing what books to get for your children to help teach them about the gospel and to help them not be afraid of the dark!

Note: They also have produced a short animated film of the story of the Lightlings listed here at Amazon: The Lightlings – Animatic DVD.