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Book Review: A Chameleon, A Boy And A Quest

10 Nov

Chameleon-Boy_PK-247x384A 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.

JAMyhre-334J. 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 out more about J.A. at http://paradoxuganda.blogspot.com.


My Impressions:

I loved, loved, loved A Chameleon, A Boy And A Quest by J. A. Myhre! A fascinating look into a different culture, characters that will win your heart, and truth that is artfully related throughout the narrative make this book a must read. Its target audience is children ages 10- 14, but this 50-something with grown kids (and no grands yet) was pulled into the story immediately. So do yourself a favor and get this book and read it along with your kids or grandkids. Just pretend you are doing it for them!

Ten year old Mu is an orphan. His life consists of performing menial tasks for his grandfather’s large clan, jobs usually done by girls. His schooling has been neglected, and he is embarrassed that he has to attend class with babies. Knowing little about who he is or where he came from, Mu never expects to know more, until a small talking chameleon interrupts his morning chores and puts him on an epic quest.

Magical realism is the best way to describe A Chameleon, A Boy And A Quest. Set amid the jungle, savannah and mountains of an unnamed African nation, the novel is full of exotic animals and an electrically charged atmosphere. The characters are real and relatable, even as they include animals who talk and work together to bring Mu to the truth. Good and evil are definitely a part of the book, and God’s truth is woven throughout, but it is a subtle thread that demands that the reader think. Mu’s journey is towards discovering his identity, a place to belong and the love he yearns for. Myrhe wrote this and other stories as Christmas presents for her children as they served on the mission field. I have to admit that the dedication page touched my heart and prepared me for a story like no other. I can’t wait for more from this talented author.

Highly Recommended.

Audience: children ages 10-14 (but adults need to read this too!)

To purchase this book, click HERE

(Thanks to LitFuse for New Growth Press for a review copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)