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Featured Books from Plough: Autumn 2015


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From Khirbet Khizeh to Lod

First published in Hebrew in 1949, Khirbet Khizeh could be recounting my own father’s story: he too was an Israeli soldier in 1948, and was never able to forget the expulsions he took part in.

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A young prince with Down syndrome saves the nation.

“He looks a little different,” muses the king at Prince Noah’s arrival. “He is not like the others,” agrees the queen. Soon they learn what a very special person he is, even though he can’t do everything his brothers can.

When the youngest prince disarms the terrible knight Scarface with an act of compassion, everyone finally realizes how good it is that each person is unique.

There are children who are slower, who can say just a few words or none at all. Each of them belongs in our world and enriches it. This delightfully illustrated fairy tale teaches appreciation for children with Down syndrome and other developmental challenges.

Silke Schnee, a television producer in Cologne, Germany, and a mother of three, writes:

In 2008, our third son, Noah, was born with Down syndrome. At first, we were shocked and sad. But the catalyst for this book was witnessing the effect he had on many people, despite being categorized as disabled. In fact, our little prince brings much love, joy, and sunshine not only to us, but to all around him. Children are a wonder, and we must see them with the eyes of our heart: each child just the way he or she is.



The prince who was just himself  book cover with the young prince holding a flower  View book details
illustration of child prince View Slideshow

Can our wounds become our greatest gift?

J. Heinrich Arnold may have been a broken man. Yet those who knew him said they never met another like him. Some spoke of his humility and compassion, others of his frankness and earthy humor. In his presence, complete strangers poured out their darkest secrets and left transformed. Others wanted him dead.

Writer Henri Nouwen called him a “prophetic voice” and wrote of how his words “touched me as a double-edged sword, calling me to choose between truth and lies, selflessness and selfishness.…Here was no pious, sentimental guide; every word came from experience.”

Plough editor Peter Mommsen has spent years unearthing the dramatic true story of the grandfather he hardly knew. His book will change the way you view your own life.

Martin Sheen, actor “I finished reading the book and was filled with wonder at the life of such a man. What powerful inspiration!”

Mairead Corrigan Maguire, Nobel Peace Prize laureate “A challenging, deeply moving, and honest book.”

Jean Vanier, founder of L’Arche communities “Thank you for this book. I was deeply moved by Heinrich Arnold’s life, by the sufferings of the community, and by the resurrection.”

Daniel Berrigan, poet and author “What a tragic, beautiful life, and recounted with such candor and delicacy! I am delighted, and heartened, and moved to tears.”

Stanley Hauerwas, Duke University “What an extraordinary life! In many ways it’s a sad and sorrowful life – but one lived in the light of the gospel.”

A thumbnail image of the book cover, Homage to a Broken Man. View book details
photo of Heiner View Slideshow

The ever-fascinating life of the world’s favorite saint, retold by one of the great novelists of our time.

Perhaps more than any other figure in Christian history, Saint Francis of Assisi has captured our imagination, for his is a story of extreme self-sacrifice, of love to God and humankind. How could this wealthy, handsome youth cast away all the advantages that were his by birth and choose instead a life of poverty and humility? How could he attract members of all strata of society to his mission?

Elizabeth Goudge (1900–1984) was a popular British novelist who also wrote many acclaimed children’s books – The Little White Horse, which J. K. Rowling has said was her favorite book as a child, won the 1946 Carnegie Medal. Of Saint Francis, Goudge writes:

It is as a Christian that he matters to us, as a humble, poor man who set himself to tread as closely as he could in the footsteps of Christ, perhaps as closely as any man has ever done, and by so doing he shames us. Looking at him we see what it means to be a Christian and what it costs. His story is not only endearing, it is terrifying. Yet without the fear and shame he would not have so much power over us, for we know in our hearts that what is worth having costs everything. And so his power lives on and we cannot measure it because it is nowhere near its end.

New York Times “Elizabeth Goudge’s novels, long or short, have always been distinguished by a quality of lyrical joyousness more usually
associated with poetry than with prose and, perhaps, with music than with writing.”

My God and My All View book details


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