U2 lead singer Bono is well known to adults for his international humanitarian work and his faith woven in throughout the band’s music over the course of nearly three decades.
But explaining who Bono is to kids, and how his Christian faith is a part of his spirituality, is more challenging.
And that’s where Kim Washburn comes in.
Washburn is the author of the Zondervan release Breaking Through Grace: The Bono Story which illustrates the rocker’s journey to the summit of the music world in the context of faith.
“He’s a very hard person to put in a little Christian box,” Washburn said. “I thought it was really great to see the details of how he didn’t fit a lot of Christian stereotypes, and yet it’s very clear that he loves God, loves Jesus and loves God’s Word.
“I think it’s great that kids can be themselves and who God has made them, and at the same time have a respect for Christianity.”
Washburn’s writing career began with Focus on the Family, where she was an associate editor and wrote for Clubhouse Jr., the ministry’s magazine for 4 to 8 year-olds.
She said she enjoys the challenge of writing for the older tween audience for this book.
“Coming into this book I was middle of the road as a U2 fan,” she said. “I know there are people who are crazy about everything with the band and I knew some, but not as much as when I got into writing the book. … There is 30 years of material on the band which is out there. The biggest challenge was going all the material available and filtering down to the themes we were looking for in the book.”
As a mom to a 9-year-old and two 7-year-olds, Washburn found personal satisfaction writing for an age group her are either in or soon will be.
“With older readers you really need to choose your words wisely,” she said. “You much more room for detail than when you write for a magazine. You don’t just have to go for a sweet sound bite. You can’t really do that with someone like Bono, it’s too complicated.”
Instead, Washburn let Bono’s own words do the talking.
“One thing early on, I decided to only go with Bono’s words. Of course there was so much other people had said about him, but other than one quote from The Edge (U2’s guitarist) we really wanted it to be in his own words.
Next up for Washburn is a biography of National Hockey League player Mike Fisher of the Ottawa Senators who is married to country singer Carrie Underwood.
“The thing about this book that is similar with Bono is here is someone as an athlete who doesn’t fit into a simple explanation and is outspoken about his faith.”