Looking for great new read-aloud books for the family? My brother and sister-in-law who serve as missionaries in East Africa recently gave us a glimpse into their world and beyond with a short children’s novel titled A Chameleon, a Boy, and a Quest (Greensboro, N.C.; New Growth Press, 2015). This little 150 page story echoes part Pilgrim’s Progress and part The Lord of the Rings.
The ten year old boy, Mu, awakens in a mud hut on his uncle’s compound as a mistreated orphan. As he fetches water at dawn, he is met, to his great surprise, by a talking chameleon named Tita. Tita latches onto Mu’s collar and directs him on the adventure of a lifetime across the African landscape. Readers are vividly led with Mu on his quest down pothole covered roads, through mission compounds, up mountain trails, and over rivers and streams. Where is he going? And whom can he trust amid the family members, missionaries, and others he encounters, including the strange realm of talking animals?
The African adventure amid many perils opens new vistas for Mu, but most of all, the quest probes Mu’s inner self. Who is he, really? What is life all about? What are the forces of good and evil at work in the world? Themes of hopelessness, slavery, love, friendship, sacrifice, redemption, trust, courage, and hope unfold on this grand journey.
My children and I were left on the edge of our seats, chapter after chapter. More than merely being entertained, Mu’s journey became ours.
We are very grateful for this little treasure from the pen of Dr. J.A. Myhre, M.D., a long-time Christian worker in East Africa. She wrote this story for her children, and reads like a guided tour through Africa and beyond. She will guide your tour; just take up and read. She has also just released a second book of the same genre that we have not yet read: A Bird, a Girl, and a Rescue (Greensboro, N.C.; New Growth Press, 2016).