This review is for Thomas Nelson’s BookSneeze program.
The Boy Who Changed the World by Andy Andrews (illustrated by Philip Hurst) is a partner release to The Butterly Effect, both of which released in August 2010 by Thomas Nelson publishing. Whilst the latter is aimed at adults primarily, The Boy Who Changed the World is for children. It’s a large-format, 40 page book filled with wonderful illustrations by Philip Hurst, and will certainly catch the eye of a young audience.
The basic premise is the interconnected lives of four men, each of whom impacted the next with a decision they made. Andrews begins with the most recent and then traces backwards, revealing the key moment that lead to the decision that impacted the preceding person. Overall, the stories are well crafted with enough detail to keep your attention whilst maintaining brevity for those short attention spans of the primary audience. But good stories are not enough, and unfortunately my suspicions about the nature of the book were confirmed in the last couple of pages.
Andrews asserts that “every thing you do matters to everyone for all time.” I just don’t believe that. I think everything God does matters, and He works through people, but man is not the source or sustainer of the universe and man is not able to undo God’s plans by one decision. My concern is that this work gives our children the impression that they are more important in the grand scheme of things than they really are. It gives grounds for pride in self, and there is no clear mention of God and our desperate need for Him.
I have two young sons, so I love finding good resources to share stories with them, and to teach them about God and what He wants for us and from us. If this book gets taken down from the shelf again – because David really did enjoy the stories and loved pointing out the butterflies – then I would read it without the last two pages. In all things, the glory and honor should point back to the Creator and Sustainor of life, not to man who receives such blessings.