Focus on the Family

Elsie's Impossible Choice

A book review for parents

This second historical fiction book in the "Life of Faith" series based on the best-selling classic by Martha Finley is published by Zonderkidz.

Elsie's Impossible Choice is written for kids ages 10 to 14. The age range reflects readability and not necessarily content appropriateness.

Plot Summary

Elsie Dinsmore, a gentle 9-year-old, lives on her grandfather's plantation during the height of Southern affluence in the 1840s. She has recently been reunited with her father, Horace, who left Elsie in the care of nursemaids after the tragic death of his wife. Elsie loves her father but longs for him to experience the love of Jesus. Horace has good intentions but little understanding. He demands that Elsie submit to his authority, even above that of God. The resulting conflict endangers Elsie's life as she struggles to maintain her faith in God within an unfriendly household. In the end, her father accepts Jesus as Savior, which brings Elsie much joy.

Christian Beliefs

Elsie's pure faith and obedience to God are unshakable. Her aunts talk about their growing faith in God due to Elsie's witness. In the end, Horace submits his life to Jesus.

Authority Roles

Horace has a distorted view of his authority over his daughter. He has good intentions, but cannot understand how God has ultimate authority over his daughter's life.

Other Belief Systems


Profanity/Graphic Violence






Discussion Topics

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

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.