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Solomon Says author Q&A

Andy Whisenant | Sep 15th

How did both authors meet each other and come about collaborating on this devotional?

We met eight or nine years ago at a book signing. I (Sarah) had three young children at the time, and came to hear Amy read her story at a local bookstore. We connected there, and soon after met for dinner. Becoming friends in the process, we eventually decided to collaborate on a book about Proverbs, something Amy felt inspired to write about and a topic close to my heart (with children approaching these ages).

What sets this devotional apart from other devotionals?

Focus on Proverbs:

The book of Proverbs contains so much life wisdom, but you rarely find a devotional focused solely on Proverbs. We’re hoping to get this wisdom into the hands and minds of tweens so that they can begin practicing this wisdom before they start making those life-changing decisions.

Focus on Tweens:

As two moms who have had or currently have kids in this age range, we’re very familiar with some of the issues tweens face or will face in the very near future. And we have the hindsight to know how this wisdom (or foolishness!) could change their circumstances for a lifetime. We address those issues head-on, arming them with the God-given wisdom of Solomon.

Creative Engagement:

We also know that kids learn better when they’re engaged, so we’ve implemented creative applications for every devotion. Each devotion will not only impart timeless wisdom, but it will also compel them to put it into action–right then and there. 

Start Wherever:

Because of how Proverbs is written, a lot of these devotions can stand alone. This gives kids the option to read the book in order, or skip around to devos that apply to their day. Throughout, we’ve given “Solomon Says” prompts, inviting them to go deeper into a variety of topics. 

Why did you choose the specific age group you wrote this book for (8-14)? Who did you have in mind when you wrote this?

This age range is a time of finding their voice, self-esteem development, and responding to peers in a way that can influence their lives forever. They are not quite children or teenagers. This isn’t the easiest age, and yet it is such an important age. Having a book that can help walk them through some of the challenges in a thoughtful and fun way can change the way kids see themselves, help each other, or influence the kids around them.

How would you recommend kids (and parents!) use this devotional?

Solomon Says can easily be read independently or as a family. Because the devotions typically take no longer than 5 minutes (plus the activity), most families could participate in a devo together before they start the school day or even on Saturday mornings at breakfast. Reading the devotional together is a great way to connect and grow the parent-child relationship, encourage questions and discussion, and find examples in everyday life.

Tweens may want to read it independently or with a friend or even a group of friends. The presentation is engaging and gives plenty of room for kids to write, doodle, or share thoughts on the pages. 

Either way, you’re left with a personal keepsake and reminder of this unique journey through biblical wisdom. 

What characterizes a wise kid? How does your devotional encourage readers toward that image?

Wise kids ask good questions, want real answers, and pray for God’s strength to follow through on His advice! This book gives opportunities to talk straight, think through “riddles” at times, and support wise decision-making through life.

Each devotion is based on one of Solomon’s proverbs. Why did you choose to write about Solomon and these particular proverbs?

Solomon asked for wisdom from God. Because of that, he ended up with wisdom, intelligence, riches, and a variety of skills. Because Solomon didn’t ask for selfish gain as his primary request, God was able to fill him with knowledge that really helped people. Solomon was a very deep thinker and yet he presented his thoughts in a very honest, simple, and organized manner. 

Kids love honesty, and they often want to hear instructions that are simple and blunt. Solomon, in writing these proverbs to his own son, provides many nuggets of wisdom that can really make kids think, laugh, and remember.

What did the process of studying and writing about these proverbs for a younger audience add to your experience of them?

Writing for an audience this age really puts modern-day life in perspective. We tried to hear what real kids this age were dealing with in their neighborhoods, at the bus stop, or at school. We wanted to create a space to engage these kids in meaningful conversations, with advice that didn’t feel like a lecture, and also in ways that encouraged creativity and expression.

But as with any project, we learned so much. Before we could really write about these for tweens, we had to internalize them ourselves. Writing this devotional not only bolstered our own understanding and wisdom, but it also gave us a new appreciation for what our kids are facing and the wisdom they’ll need to see them through. 

What is the difference between God-given wisdom and worldly wisdom?

Our kids are being bombarded with information from every angle. But not all of that information is wise. God-given information can be life-saving, and ignoring it can life-draining. God’s wisdom lasts forever, while worldly knowledge is fleeting. God’s wisdom has our best interests at heart; worldly knowledge is self-serving. We try to highlight these differences in Solomon Says, while pointing kids to discovering true wisdom through prayer, Scripture, and connection with trusted adults. 

What is one big takeaway you want readers to remember?

God’s wisdom is true wisdom. We hope readers will remember to slow down, listen to wisdom, make good choices, and enjoy the life God has given them. 

This is a time in history like none other, and preparing kids to feel confident in God is a gift that will reward them for eternity. We hope kids will take away a sense of God’s peace, strength, and guidance as they embark on their future in a complex and challenging world.