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Morning Star of the Reformation

post written by Emma Filbrun

Morning Star of the Reformation by Andy ThomsonTitle: Morning Star of the Reformation
Author: Andy Thomson
Major Themes: Bible, England, John Wycliffe
Synopsis: John Wycliffe and his friend Sebastian experience many adventures together as they go to university at Oxford in the 1300s.

I have been wanting to read Morning Star of the Reformation for many years, but never laid hands on it until recently. When I got hold of a copy, I added it to the shelf of books for my boys to choose read-alouds from, and someone chose it not too long ago.

The story begins as teenaged John of Wycliffe journeys to Oxford to attend the University; on the way, he meets Sebastian Ayleton, only a few years older, and the two go on together. John wanted to learn and serve God; Sebastian was only going because his father had sent him. The two remain inseparable throughout their time in Oxford, as they live through an epidemic of the plague that destroys most of the people in the area. After classes resume, a few years after the plague, they must somehow survive rioting in which the students are beseiged and threatened by the townspeople.

All along, John’s desire is to live for God and the church. When he begins to see problems in the church, he does his best to purify it, and then he begins translating the Bible so all may read it. Sebastian, on the other hand, while he admires and supports John, just wants to get away from there and have a home of his own.

The story is told from the point of view of Sebastian’s son, as it was told to him by his father. This makes, in my opinion, a very readable account of John Wycliffe’s life, although Sebastian is a fictional character. We really enjoyed this story, although some of my boys felt like the action started lagging about halfway through the book.

WARNING: Chapter 3 describes the boys happening on a corpse hanging in a tree.

Age Levels:

Read Aloud—Ages 10 – 13
Reading Independently—Ages 10 – 12, 12 – 15


Links to buy Morning Star of the Reformation:

Amazon: Paperback | Audible Audiobook (unabridged) | MP3 Audio CD (unabridged)

AbeBooks: View Choices on

Book Depository: Paperback


Bible, England, John Wycliffe

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