8. The King's Legacy by Jim Stovall
The King's Legacy: A Story of Wisdom for the Ages (orig. title: Wisdom of the Ages) by Jim Stovall; illustrated by Connie Gabbert (Canada) - (US)
Ages: all ages
Finished: Jan. 16, 2010
First Published: 2003, updated edition 2009
Genre: Inspirational, fairy tale
Once upon a time, there was an enchanted kingdom in a land far, far away.
Acquired: Received a review copy from the book's publicist.
Reason for Reading: The fairy tale nature of the story caught my attention.
Summary: The king is getting older and wants to leave something behind for the people in ages to come to remember him by. Various items are suggested: a building, a statue, a coin then his eldest wise man suggests he proclaim the wisdom for all ages. After several nights of consideration, the king chooses wisdom but he doesn't know what the wisdom of all ages is so he asks his wise men to tell him. Well they take a few nights and days then the king calls them and is rather perturbed when his wise men admit even they cannot agree on what the wisdom for all ages is. So the king decides to take it to the people and every day forth his court listens to a citizen impart the wisdom he has to share while the king takes it all in trying to find what is the single greatest wisdom of the ages. "Little does he know that the profound answer will come from the most unexpected and unassuming of places."
Comments: This is an inspirational book. Each chapter has a different towns person from physicians and judges to farmers and labourers describing the wisdom they have learnt through living their own life, working their own job. Each one leaves the reader with a truth and something to ponder. While each chapter does focus on the towns person's speech, there is room enough at the beginning of each to keep the storyline of the king and his court going forward. The king himself turns out to be much more wise than those surrounding him and the reader feels secure the king is capable of making this big decision.
The book's promotional material promotes the book for all readers and a quick glance at the book with the simple illustrations and page decorations mistakenly make the book look like a children's book. It is not a kid's book; I'm more apt to say it is an adult book that can also be enjoyed by children. Older children can read it themselves but younger ones will want to have it read to them, even if they can manage the reading level, as some of the chapters' messages are a bit deep and would benefit from discussion. I also see this as a nice gift book for a reflective type of person who likes to read inspirational, meditative material.
The King's Legacy is published by a Christian publisher but it does not contain any religious material whatsoever. It simply presents Christian themes which are relevant to all of humanity, no matter what creed, such as honesty, work ethic, good health, collective knowledge, service to others, etc.