The ESV Grow! Bible is a hardcover Bible for children ages 8-12. It contains the full English Standard Version text, along with several helpful features for this age range. There is a who, what, where, when, or why question on nearly every two page spread, and these answer basic questions that a child might have while reading the Bible, such as “Why was Caleb allowed to live?”, “When does God answer prayer?”, and “What does it mean that Christ emptied himself?”. There is an introduction for each book of the Bible, and these introductions let the child know the author, date the book was written, and about important people and places. In addition, there are sections titled “God’s Love” (what the book shows us about God’s love) and “God’s Special Message” (what God wants us to learn from the book). There is a timeline at the bottom of the book introduction pages. There are “Cross Connections” throughout the Bible, and these show how specific Bible passages point to Christ. Also included are “4U” sections, and these relate the text to the child’s life. There is a glossary in the back of the Bible, along with maps, and there are a few articles throughout the Bible.
The Biblical text is black, and is an easy size to read. The helps, headers, and chapter numbers are blue, green, orange, and brown and help to brighten the text up a bit and make it a bit less daunting for young readers. There are illustrations throughout the Bible, and these also help make the Bible young-reader friendly.
I gave this Bible to my 8-year-old son. He has kept it on his bed for night time reading and has carried it back and forth to church for 3 months. Like many 8-year-old boys, he isn’t very gentle on his possessions; this Bible has been knocked off his loft bed and dropped in the church parking lot, but it has held up quite nicely—the binding is still tight and there are no scuff marks on the cover (he did remove the dust jacket for ease of use). The ESV Grow! Bible retails for $27.99, and I think it is worth every penny.