Shiloh and Peacebuilding

I am reading the first Shiloh book to my twin sons, age 8.
As a professional peacebuilder, with a lot of experience throughout the world in peacebuilding for Mennonite Central Committee, the UN, and other organizations, I am quite moved by this story.
It’s wonderfully crafted!

My boys love it – they are more hungry to keep reading, than with any other books we’ve read, and that includes several of the Laura Ingalls Wilder books!

I’m especially touched by – and grateful for – the unfolding insight into Judd Travers. This is making for wonderful conversation – first of all about how mean he is, but then about the discovery that this abusive man was abused himself and quite lonely.

It’s the kind of insight that somehow seems to elude even many adults, and here it is woven into the fabric of this spellbinding tale!

My boys “get it” immediately. One of them, who kept saying he hates Judd Travers in the beginning, is now saying, “Well, maybe Judd Travers isn’t a bad guy. His dad was bad. But Judd Travers is stupid!”

Thank you for this gift to my boys, and to the world!
Phyllis replied:

I appreciated your email so much.  As you read the other three books–most especially the final one, A Shiloh Christmas,” I think you’ll find the peacekeeping theme even more pronounced.  My older son attends meetings in a Quaker congregation, and we’ve had many  interesting conversations about how to go about uniting different viewpoints.  I actually don’t start out with a theme or moral at all–only a story–in this case, how would an eleven year old boy convince a  mean and miserable man to give up one of his hunting dogs?  And, as I got more into the story, What’s right? as Marty eventually asks his dad.  Thank you for letting me know how much the book means to your family.

Posted on: April 15, 2017


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