Book Review: Jesus and the Beanstalk by Lori Stanley Roeleveld

Posted September 30, 2016 by meezcarrie in Christian, fairy tales, Lori Stanley Roeleveld, nonfiction / 5 Comments

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about the book

What if a fairy tale and ten Bible verses could free you to live an effective, fruitful life in Christ?

We live in unsettling, challenging times. Everywhere we look, we see giant problems: giant obstacles to sharing faith, giant barriers to peaceful lives, giant strongholds of fear. But what if you knew eight small secrets to unlocking a strength big enough to overcome whatever obstacle life may bring?

Using allegory and a bit of humor, Jesus and the Beanstalk explores a passage in 2 Peter 1 to uncover eight truths that will help you unleash a larger-than-life faith:

-Affection for others


In this creative, refreshing perspective on spiritual growth, you will discover an unyielding strength when you tap the power of a God who is stronger than any beanstalk and bigger than your biggest giants.

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GENRE: Nonfiction, Christian Living
PUBLISHER: Abingdon Press
RELEASE DATE: September 20, 2016
PAGES: 304

“…we come from a long line of giant-killers.”

Jesus and the Beanstalk may not have grabbed me with the title, but it certainly did capture me completely in the introduction. Here, Roeleveld sets the stage for her book by emphasizing one of my favorite truths: stories are powerful agents of change.

“Tell us the truth that God is good all the time and we have a fact for our files, a verse to commit to memory, a peg on which to hang our hopes. But tell us an epic story in which a girl encounters a series of trials, a strong, evil opponent, and the temptation to doubt the goodness of God yet still prevails, and we now have material with which our souls can fashion wings. When this everyday hero holds tight to truth and gives flesh to the fact of trusting God’s goodness, she inspires us to live a greater story within our own.”

Can I get an Amen?

In addition to the introduction, the book is divided into three parts – Jesus and the Beanstalk, Trading In Our Cows, and Clinging to the Vine – as well as a Once Upon a Foreword and a Happily Ever Afterword.  In short, Jesus and the Beanstalk is the kind of Christian living nonfiction that appeals directly to the avid fiction reader, especially those of us who have a fondness for fairy tales.

Roeleveld’s writing style is conversational and engaging, making each chapter go by quickly.  But you’ll want to make sure you savor each chapter, too, because there’s a lot of great truth here.  Part 1 (“Jesus and the Beanstalk”) introduces the focal verses (2 Peter 1:1-10) and explains how the classic fairy tale Jack and the Beanstalk can teach us how to live an effective and fruitful Christian life. Part 2 (“Trading In Our Cows”) teaches us how to think strategically in order to live fruitful lives in a culture opposed to Jesus. At the end of each chapter in these first two parts is a section called “Small Steps Toward Slaying Giants” with questions for personal reflection or even small group discussion and a nugget of truth called “One Stone For Your Sling” (such as Jack was nothing without the vine.) In Part 3 (“Clinging to the Vine”), the author switches gears slightly and gives each of the 8 qualities introduced in Part 1 its own six-day mini study.  The word study exercises, inspirational essays, and Biblical character profiles provide a varied approach to each quality without being  either too academic or overly simplistic.

Bottom Line: The ideal nonfiction book for the fiction aficionado, Jesus and the Beanstalk teaches us how to live effective lives as Christians. Both encouraging and convicting, Roeleveld puts readers at ease but also leads them to a pointed look at their hearts. The wisdom here is accessible to all, making it a great choice for small groups but also an excellent selection for personal quiet times as well. A definite must-read!

(I received a copy of this book in exchange for only my honest review.)

My Rating: 4 stars / Love it!


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about the author


Lori Stanley Roeleveld is the author of Running from a Crazy Man (and other adventures traveling with Jesus) and Red Pen Redemption. Her blog,, was voted Top 100 Christian Blogs by and has enjoyed over 1.5 million views. Lori lives in Hope Valley, RI.

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5 responses to “Book Review: Jesus and the Beanstalk by Lori Stanley Roeleveld

  1. I’m with you, Carrie. I was going to pass on this until I read the description on the tour announcement and decided to risk it. I read the intro last night and was very impressed.

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