Saturday, June 6, 2015

Book Review-Going the Distance

Going the Distance, by Stephen Elkins

This husband and wife team of authors has created an attractive package of book and activity in this great resource for youth.  Alec London is a sensitive, likeable kid who weathers disappointments and challenges with family and school mates. The reader feels his struggle as he wrestles with missing his mother, who is often away from home because of job obligations, enduring summer baseball camp, the up and down relationship with his older brother and an intimidating classmate.  Resolving his feelings often means turning his thoughts into prayers for help to do the right thing. 

Alec says, “Dad always gives me pretty much the same message as my teacher.  They both say how it’s important to give my all in everything I do.  It’s called ‘going the distance.” At the end of each chapter Alec expresses an honest summary of his conflict in a letter to his mom.

Besides the summary letter, each chapter ends with a word search game.  The back of the book offers discussion questions about the book and a few short resources to sharpen the reader’s English and math skills.  For instance, this particular book in the series includes a worksheet about baseball’s rules and fundamentals. Answer keys are provided for the word searches and the worksheets.

The adults in the book are great role models in spite of their weaknesses. Alec’s maturity for a fourth grader, his writing skills shown in his letters to his mom, and his personal relationship with God are exceptional and maybe unrealistic.  But the authors show a way for kids in this age group to reach for the God who is always there and who is very interested in the details of our lives.

I received this book from Moody Press publishers in exchange for my review.

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