Joan of Arc (Step Into Reading: Step 4)

By: Dan Andreasen, Shana Corey

Star Rating:



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This beginning reader brings to life the story of the legendary Joan of Arc. It follows her from a simple farm girl who began hearing voices that she believed were God telling her she was fated to save France. Then it continues to tell how she became a brave soldier and leader, fighting in many battles against England and Burgundy. Ultimately, though, she was captured and met a tragic end at only nineteen. However, she went on to become one of the most feted saints in the Catholic Church.


Joan of Arc is a children's picture book biography in the Step Into Reading series of early readers. Rated at a Step 4, it's recommended for students in Grades 2-3 who are ready for short paragraphs and more challenging vocabulary. The book tells the story of Joan of Arc and how she went from a simple farm girl to become a strong leader and soldier, fighting for France against England and Burgundy. Joan began hearing voices that she believed were God speaking to her when she was a girl and eventually convinced the Prince that she was sent by God to save France. She led troops into many battles over the next year and a half, but was eventually captured and sold to the English who put her on trial for witchcraft and burned her at the stake. However, her legend lived on and she eventually became lauded as a saint by the Catholic Church.

I thought this was a pretty good biography of the legendary Joan of Arc. I knew all the basics of her story, but there were a few things covered in the book that I either didn't know or had forgotten, so I did learn something from it. I always count that in a children's book's favor if I, as an adult, can pick up something new from it. However, there were a few places where I had questions and felt that more information might have been helpful, even though I do recognize that this is a kid's early reader that probably had to be kept at a certain length. The illustrations were well-done and complemented the story nicely. I like that there were banners every couple of pages or so that documented dates and places where the events were occurring. Overall, this was a respectable entry into the historical biographies for children genre that I think could appeal to both boys and girls with its adventurous story and encourage young readers to learn about this inspiring young woman and a little of the history of France.


Shana Corey 

Dan Andreasen @ GoodReads