Jesus Grows Up


64 pages
Contains Illustrations
ISBN 2-89088-895-9
DDC j232.92





Reviewed by Steve Pitt

Steve Pitt is a Toronto-based freelance writer and an award-winning journalist. He has written many young adult and children's books, including Day of the Flying Fox: The True Story of World War II Pilot Charley Fox.


“Did you ever wonder what Jesus’ life as a child was like?” asks
the blurb on the back of this book. Many people would likely say yes to
this question. Unfortunately, if they read this book they will keep
wondering. Although historians, archeologists, anthropologists, and
modern Semitic people have provided mountains of information about what
life was like in 1st-century Judea, Jesus Grows Up tells us next to
nothing about the kind of life Jesus actually led as a Jewish child
growing up in an obscure Roman province.

Consider this excerpt: “Every year his parents went to Jerusalem for
the Festival of Passover. When Jesus was twelve years old, he went with
them to Jerusalem. When the festival was over, Joseph and Mary started
on their journey home but Jesus stayed in Jerusalem without telling
them.” This could be the story of any lost child, at any place and at
any time. The significance of Passover, the highest of the holy days in
the Jewish calendar, and of Jerusalem, City of David and home of the
Temple, is completely ignored. Much of the text tries to show the
background to many of the parables Jesus would later coin as a wandering
preacher. Once again, the prose is so general that the essential time
and place of Jesus fades away and he becomes just another gawky kid
watching his mother bake bread.

The best that can be said about this book is that it is offensive to no
one except the curious. Not a first-choice purchase.


Paris, Pilar, and Josep M. Lozano., “Jesus Grows Up,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 14, 2024,