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The Boy Who Changed the World Review by Brandi Tesreau

By Andy Andrews
Thomas Nelson, Inc.
PO Box 141000
Nashville, TN 37214

Do you believe that every single thing you do matters? I do and always have. It's a concept I've been trying to teach my children since they were very small. Whether it's picking up a piece of trash in the street or donating allowance to a family in need, it's all significant in God's eyes. Everything we do has the potential to affect someone else in either a positive or negative way.

I was so thrilled when chosen to review The Boy Who Changed the World, since I'd already heard such amazing reviews on a couple of blogs. Just by looking at Philip Hurst's gorgeous cover and artwork throughout the book, I knew this was going to be a great story to share with my kids, who are 11, 9, and 5.

New York Times best-selling author Andy Andrews tells the story of Norman Borlaug, an ordinary boy with a big dream. Though it seems impossible at the time, as he stands amidst his family's endless rows of corn, he dreams of feeding the world's hungry. Eventually, his childhood dream becomes a reality, but not without a lot of hard work and help from many others who'd paved the way. Norman's success can be traced all the way back to a kindhearted man and his wife who rescued and raised a slave's child as their very own. You'll definitely want to read the book to discover all of the characters who played an important role in helping Norman become the boy who changed the world.

This book clearly teaches, in an engaging and interesting way, what is known as The Butterfly Effect(the title of another book by Andy Andrews). It demonstrates the truth that every action impacts another's action, and so on--also referred to as the ripple effect or what I've always called the domino effect. Though written for children, the book reminded even me that my seemingly insignificant jobs of mothering, homeschooling, cooking, and cleaning really are important. Even though I know that's true, I don't always feel it, so I was encouraged and empowered by the words in this book.

The Boy Who Changed the World is rich in spiritual insight and Biblical application. As I have read it through a few times, many Bible verses and principles have come to mind, which I have discussed with my children. Persevering no matter what, spurring one another on toward love and good deeds, good works prepared in advance for the believer, God working out all for our good, working cheerfully as if working for God rather than man, and the Golden Rule are just a sampling of the wonderful nuggets of truth to examine with your children. We talked about these and more while going over the Reader's Guide Questions, which I downloaded from the website, Also available from the site, is a free downloadable curriculum, which includes comprehension questions, spelling and vocabulary activities, writing, science, and social studies connections, and more--over 50 pages of extended learning!

While I probably wouldn't have bought this book specifically for my 9 and 11-year-old boys, they definitely benefitted from my reading it aloud to my 5-year-old daughter. I think the discussion questions actually had more of an impact on my older children, though. It's just a great book that the whole family can enjoy on some level.

Add this beautifully illustrated treasure to your home library and give your child the gift of believing that they, too, can change the world! The price is $14.00, which is great for this quality hardcover children's book. Create a ripple effect of your own by giving The Boy Who Changed the World to a friend as well!

Product review by Brandi Tesreau, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, February 2011