What parent doesn’t want his or her children to read, and to love reading while they’re at it?
I want my kids to love reading, but it’s more than that. I want them to find that story that is more than a story–a story that helps connect the material things in this world to the spiritual. It’s in this moment that the story gains its power to effect life change.
“Good Boy, Achilles” at its core accomplishes just this–making God real to readers of all ages. The tween chapter book opens on a small farm, where a boy named Jeremy discovers that his family’s dog, Ginger, has finally given birth to her long-awaited puppies. Ginger explains to her puppies that they must leave the farm for new homes where they will take care of their own humans, for that is the Father’s plan. Jeremy’s parents tell him that the family can afford only one dog, Ginger, and will have to give the puppies away. As the story progresses, however, Jeremy and his favorite puppy, Thunder, or, as Jeremy calls him, Achilles, become best friends, and Thunder comes to believe that he will remain on the farm as Jeremy’s dog.
Will he? On the way to finding out, he and Jeremy learn some important lessons about God and about life.
Eddie Ellis masterfully endears us to the Dawson family, the farm, the puppies and especially to the loving relationship between Jeremy and Achilles. A constant question hangs at the edge of each page as Jeremy asks himself whether he will choose to trust his parents and to trust the Father’s plan. The story doesn’t stop here, however. In a unique switch in perspective, we get to see the point of view of Achilles and how he learns obedience to Ginger, the Dawsons, and the Father while waiting to be adopted.
Perhaps the most surprising twist was the personal challenge that tugged at me as I closed each chapter. Do I recognize how much I am asking my children to trust me? What about how much I trust God with my future, with my home, and my kids? Have I submitted to the Father’s plan or am I living in my own dream carrying out my plans without regard for His? Our children learn an incredible amount from us and that first and perhaps most important lesson ought to be that of unconditional love, from which trust is born.
I cannot wait to read this story with my children.
Check out a short video clip here! YouTube Good Boy, Achilles!