Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Charlatan's Boy by Jonathan Rogers

Recommendation: Recommended

For as long as he can remember Grady has been traveling with Floyd and participating in his act as the "Wild Man of the Feechiefen Swamp." While Floyd isn't his father, and has never acted particularly fatherly, it is the closest thing to family Grady has ever known. And his greatest joy has always been performing as a feechie. But no one believes in feechies anymore...So Floyd and Grady must make them believe. They create their own feechie scare and  Floyd is sure they will make it rich.

Positives: I enjoyed the emotions this book evoked. There were parts that made me laugh out loud and there were times when I was truly saddened by the predicament the boy found himself in. The ending of the story was great! Don't give up - keep reading til the end!

Negatives: The middle part of the book got a little long. While Floyd and Grady were trying to find new acts the storyline dragged a little.

Talking Points: Throughout the book Grady often violates his own conscience. He knows that what they are doing is dishonest and he feels badly about it. Talk to your children about their own conscience. God has given us the ability to know right from wrong (Rom. 2:14-15). We violate our conscience by doing something we believe to be wrong, by sinning. Talk about the importance of having a clear conscience (Acts 23:1, 24:16, 2 Cor. 4:2). Then talk about confession and how even when we sin, confession gives us a clean conscience once again( I John 1:9). I would also talk with your child about longing for heaven. Grady always longed for one thing, to once again play the part of the He-feechie. His greatest joy came from this time in his life and with a singular focus he did whatever necessary to get himself back to that role. In the same way, as believers we should long for heaven. Remember Phil. 3:20 - "Our citizenship is in heaven..." and remind them to "Set your mind on things that are above, not on things that are on earth." (Col. 3:2).

Age Level: 10 and up

I received this book for free from Waterbrook Multonomah Publishing Group for this review.

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