Many have asked me the question "As a missionary, what do you do in your spare time?"
Fair Question. If time could be "spare" (I'm still working on the specifics of that one), I actually have quite a few hobbies and interests that fill it up. Basically, leaving very little "spare" time to really define. I like to keep myself as busy as possible in order to avoid the bad "b" word always forbidden in my growing up years - "bored!"
One thing I like to do is read. I've taken a keen interest in reading books generally geared to the 10-13 age group. Although my reading level IS that of an educated adult, I seem to be fascinated with the concepts in these books that adults, as well as young children, NEED to be exposed to. You have to admit, most of us have traded in our innocence for material things, status, romance and the like. We've simply forgotten what it's like to be a child again. When we weren't so afraid of what people thought and wore mismatched socks. When we were unashamedly who we were meant to be.
Although those young years may seem "foot loose and fancy free," so to speak, those years present a very tender, volatile and impressionable time. A time where so much counts and can make a lifetime of difference. How many adults have you heard talk about their childhood and expose that, whether good or bad, they were impacted for life? I know of many, specifically who came to trust Jesus Christ as their Savior at that young age.
Anyway, enough about my philosophy of growing up and back to my hobby of reading.
An author I have come to enjoy, Kate DiCamillo, has written a number of books: The Tiger Rising, Because of Winn Dixie, The Tale of Despereux and The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane. Each story, in it's own special way, has given a face to certain emotions and situations many feel or have experienced but cannot identify as their own or face with bravery, and relenquish themselves of the hurt or pain or sadness or anger.
Tis true, DiCamillo doesn't address these situations in a bold, spiritual way. But, oh, have these stories been used as a segway to my heart!
So, to share this joy with you, I've decided to write a short review of each book. Hopefully, these reviews will tease your literary tastebuds and you'll find yourself looking for the next Kate DiCamillo book, too!