Betsey Stockton: The Girl With a Missionary Dream – Laura Caputo-Whickam and Eunji Jung

Betsey Stockton Laura Caputo Wickham
Betsey Stockton: The Girl With a Missionary Dream by Laura Caputo-Wickham, Eunji Jung
Also by this author: Corrie ten Boom: The Courageous Woman and The Secret Room
Series: Do Great Things for God #2
on April 19, 2021
Genres: Children's, Children's Educational

Inspiring children's biography of Betsey Stockton, who followed her dream of being a missionary despite being born enslaved.

When young Betsey joined a missionary voyage to Hawaii, everyone was shocked. A single woman, who was born enslaved, going to mission? How extraordinary!

But that's exactly who Betsey was an extraordinary girl who believed in an extraordinary God!

Follow her adventurous five-month journey across the Pacific Ocean. A journey of laughter, tears, prayer and even a newborn life! A journey that would take her to the shores of beautiful Hawaii, where she would finally be able to do what she'd always dreamt of being a missionary.

How extraordinary indeed.

Children will enjoy this beautifully illustrated children's biography of Betsey Stockton (c. 1798-1865), who, despite being born enslaved, follows her dream of being a missionary to Hawaii.

Can be read to young children aged 4-7 and read by children aged 7 years+.

This picture book biography shares the story of Betsey Stockton, a young Black woman who chose to become a missionary to Hawaii after she gained freedom from slavery. The story emphasizes her deep love for God and others, and the way that she took joy in Christian missions. The illustrations from Eunji Jung are colorful, creative, and inviting, and Laura Caputo-Whickam’s text is straightforward and easy for children to understand. The narrative doesn’t fill in the details related to the slavery situation, but according to the two-page timeline that the author includes in the back, Stockton became free in 1816, after she became a Christian, and stayed with the family as paid domestic help until she became a missionary in 1822. After the timeline, the author also includes a historic photograph of Stockton.

Betsey Stockton: The Girl With a Missionary Dream emphasizes how unusual it was for a young, single woman to become a missionary, especially once who had been enslaved. The book celebrates her courage and tenacity, and shows how she was able to fulfill God’s calling on her life, despite the limitations and social injustices that she faced. This is an inspiring story for children, and it is especially significant because it shows that not all missionaries were white, even long ago in history. It made me wonder about other, similar stories that have never received mainstream attention, and I look forward to seeing what other books come out in this series in the future.

This is a great resource for churches, families, Christian schools, and homeschoolers. The biography is brief and historically accurate, and designed to hold a child’s attention. This particular story’s complex background will raise questions for adults, perhaps inspiring further research and reading, but the author gives just the right amount of information for young children to understand, without losing their attention. This could serve as a read-aloud for children in preschool and kindergarten, and would be a great independent reading choice for elementary-aged kids.