A friend at church gave me this book for donation to our Little Free Library(for more information about this see The Lutheran Ladies Changing Their Environment) or to our Youth Ministry. Aimed at elementary age children, it is the story of Josh, whose grandfather dies. Josh struggles with questions like
- Why do you have to go and look at dead people?
- What is it like to be dead?
- Does it hurt to die?
- Is my grandfather in heaven?
- What is heaven like?
- I prayed — why didn’t God heal my grandfather?
- Will I die if I go to sleep?
Josh meets a friend of his grandfather’s (Gabe — we are led to believe he may be an angel) and is given answers that are clear, biblical and comforting. He is also able to confide his confusion about his own sadness, and the failure of others to understand his feelings. It encourages children to forgive, and to speak with their parents and other adults about the issues that are troubling them.
There were a few things I didn’t agree with in this book — I don’t think pets go to heaven, or angels walk on the clouds — but for the most part, I found it to be realistic and helpful. It’s easy enough for a youngster to read on his or her own, but would also be a good vehicle to use in opening a discussion about death.
VERDICT: 4 STARS
For more Christian books for children see these posts: