Kathleen's Enduring Faith

This fourth historical fiction book in the "A Life of Faith: Kathleen McKenzie" series by Tracy Leininger Craven is published by Zonderkidz.

Kathleen's Enduring Faith is written for kids ages 8 to 12. The age range reflects readability and not necessarily content appropriateness.

Plot Summary

As the hot, dry summer of 1930 drags on, the McKenzie clan looks for rain to ease the drought. Kathleen, her brother Richard, Papa and Mama are living on her uncle's farm until Papa can find a new job in a depressed economy. Kathleen, her cousin Lindsay and her visiting friend Lucy try to ease the burden by spring-cleaning, with amusing and messy results. One terrible evening, members of the Ku Klux Klan set fire to a neighbor's fields as a part of their hate campaign. The McKenzie barn also burns, and in the confusion, one of the characters is caught under a falling beam and dies. Kathleen pulls her younger cousin, Robby, to safety, but he is seriously injured and may never walk again. Kathleen learns to trust God even under dire circumstances.

Christian Beliefs

The McKenzie family members are Christians. They pray, read the Bible regularly and discuss their faith with each other. Kathleen relies on God to guide her in her daily circumstances.

Authority Roles

Kathleen's father, Uncle John and Grandpa McKenzie are strong, gentle, godly men who lead their families in a way that is based on Christian principles and in their love for others. Their wives and children respect these men.

Other Belief Systems


Profanity/Graphic Violence

Members of the Ku Klux Klan set fire to a field. In the ensuing barn fire, one character is pinned under a beam and dies. The description is realistic but not graphic.


Lindsay and the pastor's son like each other, but neither intends to pursue a relationship until they are old enough to court.



Discussion Topics

If your children have read this book or someone has read it to them, consider these discussion topics:

  • How does Kathleen react to the hardships she and her family must endure?
    How does Papa explain these trials to her?
    What has she forgotten about the race of life?
    Have you ever faced a trial in your life?
    What did God teach you about Himself through it?
  • How does the McKenzie family respond to the activities of the Ku Klux Klan?
    What does God's Word say about approaching those who live in sin?
    Have you ever encountered someone who displayed prejudice toward others?
    How did you respond?
    What steps can you take to demonstrate love toward those around you?

Book reviews cover the content, themes and worldviews of fiction books, not their literary merit, and equip parents to decide whether a book is appropriate for their children. A book's inclusion does not constitute an endorsement by Focus on the Family.

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