Normally when I review a book on my blog it's because an author or publisher has sent me a free copy to read so I can share my opinion of the book with you.  This time though, that's not the case.  I was scrolling through my newsfeed on LinkedIn and saw that Pastor Andy Addis had written a children's book and I was curious, so I bought a copy.  I've heard Pastor Addis preach to adults and families on Sunday mornings, college students on Wednesday nights at Christian Challenge, and youth at our annual InDepth conference, so I wanted to know what he would have to say to a slightly younger audience.

The Book, "Blotch:  A Tale of Forgiveness and Grace" follows the journey of a young boy who is covered in stains.  In the kingdom where he lives, every time someone does something bad, they get a new stain.  Blotch has so many stains that he can't even count them all!  He asks his father for permission to leave the village in search of a way to get rid of the stains.  What he finds along the way is that each village has a way to deal with their stains, but no one knows how to get rid of them!  Just as Blotch is about to give up hope he finds the answer to his quest.  He finds the one person who can get rid of his stains!

I won't give too much away, because even if you know where the story is going, it's still fun to be at least a little surprised!

My thoughts?  I LOVE this book!  Actually, I'm thinking about buying a second copy to give to my pastor.  My daughter isn't old enough yet for me to read this story to her, but when she's a little older I will.  Pastor Addis recommends reading one chapter to your child each night and then discussing it together.  In the back there is a guide to help you if you're not sure what questions to ask.  If, while you're reading and discussing the story, your child decides she wants a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, there is even a guide to walk you through, step-by-step in how to lead your child to Christ.

If your child already has a relationship with Christ, I would recommend this book anyway.  Even as someone who has been a Christian for many years, this book made an impression on me.  As I read about each of the villages that Blotch encountered I was saddened to see the villagers try to steer Blotch in the wrong direction.  What if after visiting the Hiders in Hiderville he decided that covering up his stains was good enough?  What if after running away from the Pointers in Point City he had decided his journey was hopeless?  Blotch never would have met the one who could take away his stains.  

Now I know that I'm not perfect.  Actually, I'm far from it.  But I don't ever want to be the obstacle that keeps a person from Jesus.  I'm actually considering reading this book with my youth group to spark conversation about how our attitude and behaviors affect our ability to minister to those around us.  I want them to understand that we don't live in a bubble.  The "stained" are watching us to see what we do about our own stains.  Are we leading them down the path to Christ or are we creating a roadblock?

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