Monday, 28 March 2016

South Sea Island Rescue

Over the last few weeks, I have been busy reading children's books about Oceania for the book club that I run. I'm picky and for various reasons, the first four and half books didn't make the cut. The half was a book which I gave up on as unsuitable without bothering to finish! 

Now, I have found a book which we hope to use! I'm still looking for one more, so recommendations of chapter books on Antarctica or Oceania would be great.

John G. Paton South Sea Island RescueJohn G. Paton South Sea Island Rescue by Kay Walsh
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

John Paton had an amazing life. His life work was as a missionary in the South Sea Islands yet he was driven off the island for which he had a special love, Tanna and his most successful work was done on another island, Aniwa. 

John Paton was a missionary, builder, defender of the South Sea Islanders against the slave trade, fund raiser, linguist and Bible translator. He encountered poverty, cannibals, earthquakes and lost his first wife and baby son soon after arriving on the island of Tanna.

In this book, Kay Walsh introduces children to Paton's life. The book is easy to read and compelling, particularly, as it starts with John being hunted for his life by some cannibals. It doesn't hesitate to document some of the appalling treatment of the Islanders by the slave traders, such as the deliberate introduction of measles. It also shows how the Gospel brought so many benefits, both spiritual and societal. People were radically changed by the Gospel.

Ideally, I would have liked a timeline and a map. Doubtless, we will make the first and look at the other in the group! I do remember reading many biographies, as a child, but only having the vaguest idea about where they were set due to the absence of a map and being too lazy to check. 

Highly recommended for children from about age eight. Do preread for very sensitive children but although the material could be disturbing it is not treated in a scary or over sensational manner.

Just a bonus, my favourite adult book about John Paton is his second wife, Margaret's book, Letters from the South Seas. Sadly, this book is out of print but if you are able to get hold of a copy, it is well worth reading.

View all my reviews

Disclaimer: I purchased this book for my own use. The views are my own.

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