Posted by: Beth | May 5, 2022

Surprised by a Book

Surprised by a Book

Hard work with a cheerful attitude, death of a parent, courtship, honoring commitments, friends acting weird — not exactly the topics I expected to interest our grandsons, ages 5 and 9.  A story about dragons or a shoot-out in the Old West or a young boy who constantly gets into trouble — those I expect the boys to find interesting.  But seriously, a slowly moving story of commitment to faith and family?  After a few chapters, I put the book aside to hear, “But Nanny, what happened next?!  You can’t just stop reading it!”  And so, we continued reading one or two chapters a night until we finished Like a Green Tree by Edith S Witmer (Rod and Staff Publishers, 2017) .

One lesson from this experience is that while as parents we know what books our children have enjoyed reading or listening to us read, we need to try different topics and authors.  Reading a wide variety of materials is the only way to discover how varied their interests really are. 

We all know that values are caught more so than taught.  Our behaviors and behaviors we vocally admire in others make a much deeper, longer-lasting impact on children than anything we tell them.  In Like a Green Tree, Leroy Miller experiences spiritual growing pains during his twenties. He questions his faith when some of his friends act strangely. He wonders why the young woman he was so sure that God had chosen for his wife told him, “No, I will not allow you to court me.”

This book is marketed for young teens, and I hope to read it again as our boys get older.  Yes, the farm life is different from our everyday lives and no, we do not share exactly the same faith.  Still, the acts of how to get along with others and question your faith are valuable. 

Happy Reading!

You may not find this at the big box stores or online suppliers. You can find it at 


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