How appropriate that for Catholic Schools Week I visited a Catholic school! I spent an hour with some pretty awesome 6th graders in Miss Abramson’s class to discuss The Destiny of Sunshine Ranch which was assigned as part of their Language Arts curriculum. And the consensus is that they loved it!
From realistic characters to real life situations, these children were quick to share the reasons why they were able to relate to the story. One young man said that he enjoyed the characters, especially Benedict, because he could connect to him. In fact, all the children raised their hands when asked if they could relate to any of the characters portrayed in the story. They shared their favorite characters and why they liked them, what surprised them the most about the story-line, and what they believed the moral premise of the story to be.
And when my questions for them were done, there were many waiting for me. Along with a copy of The Destiny of Sunshine Ranch, each child had a list of questions in front of them. Questions about character development, plot, the moral premise, point of view, the writing process, the publishing process, and so on and so on. “Will there be a sequel?” “When did you start writing?” “If you could change any part of the story, what would you change?” “Who’s your favorite character?” “What’s your favorite quote from the book?” “Do you have any experience with foster children?” “Did you base any of your characters on your own experiences?” “What was your favorite scene to write?” “How long did it take you to write this book?” “What happened to Melanie?” “What did the other children think about Benedict and Mel coming to the Ranch?” “What inspired you to write this story?”
Nineteen children had read this story and each had a list of questions. Needless to say, there was a lot of discussion.
And in answering their questions, I was able to expand on the moral premise of this story which was based on Philippians 4:13.
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13.)
Benedict’s baggage is reflective of a lot of issues that children experience in their youth. They may not be the exact same conflicts and struggles, but the response is the same. Trust in the Lord. Put your faith in Him and find your strength to overcome all obstacles with His Word. And they took it all in. They were fully engaged in the conversation and it was a pleasure to be with a group of 6 graders who got it! They read my book, a book inspired by a faithful God, and they heard His Word ring through, and it was awesome!
This school visit was a success, for sure. And just spending time with these children, I felt blessed that God has given me this gift and this ministry. I truly hope that these amazing children were just as much inspired by this experience as I was. God is good!
Thanks, Miss Abramson!