Beaming Books

The World Jesus Knew

A Curious Kid's Guide to Life in the First Century

Marc Olson, Author
Jem Maybank, Illustrator


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Jesus often told stories using everyday objects to help his listeners understand life with God. But for most of us, the deep imagery and meaning behind those objects has been lost to history. This book helps kids discover the world Jesus lived in through maps, charts, graphs, and other infographic elements. They’ll learn about the culture Jesus lived in—his Jewish religion, the power of the ruling Roman Empire, the role of fishermen and carpenters and shepherds.  It’s an invitation to explore the stories of Jesus in their cultural context, bringing new life to familiar biblical events. This beautifully illustrated book will be a family favorite that kids and adults will come back to over and over again.
Marc Olson lives in St Paul, Minnesota with his son, Sigurd, and their Basset Hound, Bruce.  As an educator, Marc enjoys teaching and writing about the sacraments and the Bible, as well as studying the lives of the early Christian church. He also drives a garbage truck.

The World Jesus Knew is a Junior Library Guild Selection. Junior Library Guild is a curated subscription service for libraries featuring books recommended by expert librarians for building an excellent collection.

"Aiming to remind young readers that "Jesus was a real person who lived in a real place during a specific time in history," this overview offers general pictures of 1st-century life and society in what Olson calls Palestine, with particular attention paid to the era's Jewish practices and Scriptures."
Kirkus Reviews

"The World Jesus Knew is a beautifully illustrated book that will be a family favorite that kids and adults will come back to over and over again."
Midwest Book Review, Christian Shelf

"Written in a down-to-earth style that kids can connect with, and it also includes fantastic illustrations!"
—Play Eat Grow Blog

"Jesus appears throughout this smartly designed book, but it's primarily about his world, one that is depicted in fascinating, crisp detail, with almost every topic one could think of covered here."
Booklist Top 10 Religion and Spirituality Books for Youth Feature
  • ISBN 9781506425009
  • Age Middle Grades (9-13 years)
  • Format Hardcover
  • Dimensions 9 x 12
  • Pages 64
  • Publication Date October 3, 2017