When I first read about A Chameleon, a Boy, and a Quest by J.A. Myhre, I was interested in reading it. I am soon to be a first-time mom, and I work for an international humanitarian organization, which means that I am very interested in raising my children to understand the many places and cultures of our world — and to value the differences and similarities.
In A Chameleon, a Boy, and a Quest, young Mu — an orphan — sets out on a special quest across the varied geography of a nation in Africa with little but his own ingenuity and the help of a very special chameleon companion and a dog he’s not sure whether or not he can fully trust. Along the way, Mu is testing — both physically and spiritually. His decisions could cost him his life, or the lives of others.
While this youth book takes some time to get started, I appreciated the attention to detail as the author sets the scene in Africa. I think that the explanation of the culture is easy enough for a child to understand without glossing over the struggle of poverty in rural Africa. Mu is a character that any child could relate to.
I did find some discrepancy in Mu’s understanding of the world and some of the narrative and vocabulary used as the tale is told from his point of view.
One of the best parts about the book, though, was the allegory for the Christian walk. The chameleon clearly represents the Holy Spirit that is with us, in us, guiding us throughout our journeys — but only if we let Him. Botu, the dog, may not be “safe”, but he is good and willing to take great risks for Mu, whether the boy deserved it or not.
I would recommend this book to any Christian family hoping to teach their child about world cultures, and also about Jesus Christ.
I received a complimentary copy of A Chameleon, a Boy, and a Quest from New Growth Press, but I was not otherwise compensated for this review. All writing, thoughts, and opinions are solely mine.