A Special Glow
by Jessica Crews
Mascot Books

"We’re all called to work, but in different ways.
We all come from God, and to Him goes our praise!"

In this innovative, nonconformist children's story, readers meet a small ant named Grant, who heads to school day after day with the rest of his ant pals. Though he is proud of his grades and the fact that he can pass Mr. Dewey's rote memorization tests, He begins to see the true nature of the school he attends. What he realizes is that he and his ant friends "all had been trained and were too scared to speak." Moreover, Grant also sees the selfishness of Mr. Dewey, who relies on teaching methods designed to keep everyone on the same level and erase any uniqueness an ant might possess. However, one day Grant realizes that "the Lord was right by his side," so he steps forward and encourages the other ants to take a stand against Mr. Dewey and his teachings.

Readers can interpret the evil, seemingly conniving Mr. Dewey in a plethora of ways. Some will see the teacher as a symbol of or metaphor for Big Government's encroachment into an individual's daily life. Other readers may interpret Mr. Dewey as the fatally flawed American education system, which many see as relying on a one-size-fits-all approach in regard to classroom programming, teaching techniques, etc. No matter what the interpretation, Grant's message rings clear: "We have different callings; we're not all the same / Today's public schooling has only Dewey to blame!" The most defiant moment comes when Grant and his ant pals "left Dewey's school and headed for their hill. / Their true calling from God was deep in them still." The ants who dare to be different and determine their own fates and futures represent the many parents and children who have continually selected homeschooling, alternative education options, and charter schools to meet their educational and individual needs. These inspiring ants become heroes and heroines to parents and children alike.

The change that Grant and his ant pals spark is unprecedented, and these inspiring ants become heroes and heroines to parents and children alike. In Grant, children find a brave soul, an individualistic ant willing to question authority and the system from which authority stems. Most importantly, they learn an important message: each unique individual has his or her own talents, and how one uses and celebrates those talents and gifts is entirely up to the individual. Grant's powerful persona also reminds readers about how so many individuals never reach their full potential because of the system in which individuals are forced to survive. With its gorgeous, anthropomorphic artwork and its powerful message about the power of self-awareness and even self-education, this against-all-odds book is sure to become a quick favorite for young students, especially those struggling in traditional educational environments. For readers searching for a faith-based story of the power of individualism, uniqueness, and motivation, this book is the perfect addition to any children's collection. It is a story of hope for anyone needing a reminder that faith, God, and personal determination help one find their true path in life.

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