Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Review: A Chameleon, a Boy, and a Quest

Africa. The sights: children running, run-down buildings, animals, orderly plantations, wild jungle. The smells: Overwhelming florals, sweat mixed with fire, markets with overripe tomatoes and dried fish. The sounds: horns blaring, dogs barking, a language you don’t understand, laughter. The tastes: juicy mango, maize from a pot. The feeling: jarring roads, crowds, awe.

Water. A precious commodity transported on the heads, or in other creative ways, of many a child, many a woman. Not too many years ago, when Esmé was a baby, it was our privilege to experience Africa. To play a small supporting role in the creation of more water sources, wells, for various communities.

So here’s a book that grabbed us from the first page…P1130641

Synopsis of Book

A Chameleon, a Boy, and a QuestA Boy Named Mu, an African Journey, and You

Mu, a ten-year-old orphan, has lived his entire life in the heart of Africa. For as long as he can remember he has served in the household of a great-uncle where he is unloved and ignored. In his drudgery-filled life, Mu has little hope of happiness, and little hope that anything will ever change.

But one day, everything does change. On his way to draw water one morning, Mu is astonished when a chameleon greets him by name and announces that they will embark on a quest together. And what a quest it turns out to be! Mu faces danger and finds unexpected allies as they journey through a fascinating and ever-changing landscape.

A Chameleon, a Boy, and a Quest blends magical realism with a compelling story. The exciting story line combines an orphan's journey to find a home with the plight of child soldiers and the dangers of the Ebola virus and, along the way, highlights universal themes of integrity, loyalty, faith, and love. Written by long-time medical missionary J. A. Myrhe, the artful story is laced with subtle gospel themes and handles cross-cultural issues with grace and sensitivity. Kids will encounter good and evil and learn the truth about hope, happiness, and what it means to be human in this page-turning first book in a new series.

What you'll find in A Chameleon, a Boy, and a Quest:

  • A page-turning children's action and adventure story set in a fictional African land
  • Blends magical realism and compelling storytelling with gospel themes to draw kids gently into the truth
  • Deals with real-life but (seemingly) faraway themes like the plight of orphans, the duties of child soldiers, and the reality of the Ebola virus
  • Written by a long-time medical missionary to Africa who handles cross-cultural issues with grace, sensitivity, and love

About the Authors

J. A. Myhre serves as a doctor with Serge in East Africa where she has worked for over two decades. She is passionate about health care for the poor, training local doctors and nurses, promoting childhood nutrition and development, and being the hands of Jesus in the hardest places. She is married to her best friend and colleague Scott, and together they have raised four children for whom many of her stories were written as Christmas presents.
Find Jennifer online:

Genre:  8-14 year olds, Christian adventure 
Physical Description:  Paperback, 128 pages 
List Price:  $15.99, currently $13.59
To Buy: http://bit.ly/1NDAPy1
For More Information: http://litfusegroup.com/author/JAMyhre

Mom’s Review:

Africa. This book had me at Africa. The chameleon (we had one in our yard), the jerry can of water, the poinsettia bush, the description of clothing, the outdoor school, the hospital wards, the jarring roads, the dog, the family relationships. I could just visualize it all. It’s fun to remind Esmé of her past there, to share the experience with her through the vividly described setting of this book.

The talking animals. Miss Esmé has been a fan of talking animals ever since I’ve been reading to her. A talking chameleon? Right up her ally. Great for imaginative kids.

The adventure. This is a fun read! There is mystery. Every chapter ends with a desire to find out what happens next. With lots of animal action as well, this is an adventure for both boys and girls.

The allegory. Betrayal. Courage. Redemption. You can find the story of Good and Evil subtly woven throughout this book.

Overall, this is an exciting read-aloud (though of course your child may want to read on her own) adventure with great cultural and redemptive qualities. I highly recommend it.

"Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Litfuse Publicity Group for coordinating this book for review. Opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.


Shaun Tabatt said...

We're currently offering J. A. Myhre's follow up book for review right now on Cross Focused Reviews. If you'd like to join the blog tour, you can find out more here: http://eepurl.com/cgY-s5.