When Niko, a young Greek boy, has several dreams of God, each tribe interprets the various details of his dreams according to its own view of God, further emphasizing the tribes' differences in beliefs. Subsequently, Niko is shunned for having created even more disharmony and for lying to the tribes, or so they think, as no one believes he dreamed of God.
To clear up all the confusion and arrive at the truth, Niko begs God to manifest in one final dream. This time, God shows him that the tribes' beliefs are actually different expressions of the same god. Niko concludes that God is like colorless and formless iridescent light and the beliefs of all tribes about their gods are correct, as these gods are like colors of the rainbow that derive from white light.
|Publisher:||Open Road Media|
|Sold by:||Barnes & Noble|
|File size:||6 MB|
|Age Range:||6 - 8 Years|
About the Author
Read an Excerpt
The Boy Who Spoke to God
By Randa Handler
OPEN ROAD INTEGRATED MEDIACopyright © 2012 Randa Handler
All rights reserved.
Once upon a time in a faraway kingdom by a crystal blue sea, sweet-smelling landscapes flourished as far as the eye could see, cascading right to the water's edge. Greek, Chinese, Zulu, and Mayan tribes combined the best of their cultures to make their kingdom, under the rule of King Dareios, one of the strongest and most prosperous in the world. But each year when religious holidays approached, their harmonious life together ended because they couldn't agree on which tribe had the right beliefs about God and religious celebrations.
Up until the holidays they worked together to solve problems of poverty, find cures for illnesses, and build the economy of the kingdom. So powerful were the people when they acted together, it was said that during a year-long Mayan-Chinese meditation at the king's portrait, they created a tunnel through a wall with their minds. Then the holidays would come and their inability to get along upset everyone, especially the children.
One winter as the Greek New Year's Day of January 1 was approaching, seven-year-old Niko, a Greek boy, convinced his Chinese friend Yeou, his Zulu friend Totopa, and his Mayan friend Little Feather to walk with him to the village market. On their way to the market he began to worry that the coming New Year's Day celebration would cause disharmony in the kingdom, as it had so often in the past.
"Everywhere I go I hear people fighting. Last night my parents argued for hours about the New Year's celebration. Dad, being the king's knight, thinks everyone should celebrate the Greek New Year's Day. Mom doesn't; she feels that every tribe should celebrate its own holiday," Niko declared.
"Mine were fighting, too! Mom is so Zulu," Totopa confided.
"Every year it's the same. If people can't agree on which God is the right one, how can they agree on the small stuff?" Little Feather observed.
"You're so right, Little Feather. The four of us believe in different Gods, but we don't argue about it. I bet if we did we'd be fighting all the time," said Niko, wrinkling his nose at the thought.
King Dareios had been urging the tribes to resolve their differences about God and religious celebrations because with every holiday the disharmony was weakening their trade and productivity. "Merchants refusing to trade with people of different faiths this coming new year holiday will destroy us. Everyone must celebrate the same holidays and follow the same God. Find a way to make this happen," he told Chinese monks Xin, Yin, and Yang.
"We've concentrated!" Xin cried out.
"And meditated!" Yin and Yang exclaimed in unison.
"Focus harder, even if it drills another hole in the castle wall," demanded the king. "For centuries, people of all races have lived together harmoniously in my kingdom, but now even my own daughter, Princess Leila, has stopped talking to her husband, Straight Arrow."
Thinking his parents might have a solution, Niko asked them, "How can everyone in the kingdom celebrate religious holidays together peacefully?"
"They can't. They have different traditions!" his mom said.
"They also have different beliefs. For example, Totopa listens to the earth; Little Feather listens to the medicine men; and Yeou follows the ways of the moon," his dad added.
"But imagine how hurt Little Feather would be if my uncle Joe didn't sell him milk just because he's a Mayan Indian? What can I do to help stop these actions?" Niko asked.
"Pray, my son. It's all you can do! This problem is much bigger than the three of us," replied his mom, sighing.
That night Niko curled up in bed with his dog Tundra and prayed very hard. Miraculously God appeared to him in a dream. "Is this really you, God? I see your beautiful silver-white hair under feathers of a thousand colors. And while I can't see your face behind the puffy clouds, I feel protected and warm in your presence."
"Yes, my son, it's really me!" God said, extending his dark hand from under a Chinese ceremonial gown straight through the cloud cover.
"I'd like you to help me solve a huge problem," Niko said. "How can everyone in my kingdom get along and be happy?"
Excerpted from The Boy Who Spoke to God by Randa Handler. Copyright © 2012 Randa Handler. Excerpted by permission of OPEN ROAD INTEGRATED MEDIA.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Need a book that teaches children that being of different religions okay? Then this book would be a good one. Going through how all the religions fight about whose religion is the right religion. How everything is peaceful before holidays, but as soon as those holidays rolled around each year they fought. Even the spouses that are married and from different religions (cultures). How a young boy sees God and finds he is a little bit of every religion. That religions and cultures are like the many colors of the rainbow. A book young ones would enjoy if you, as the parent, feels they are ready to learn about different religions or cultures.
The Boy Who Spoke to God by Randa Handler is a very well-written tale with a very important and beautiful message. I personally feel that all my beliefs are based on things I've heard and read and sometimes it feels really chaotic. I mean, how does it even work? What religion/belief truly is? I've always been of the view that religion is something bigger than what we consider it to be. Religion is something that we define. It simply cannot be confined to a certain set of ideas. Anyway, I've been of the view that every person should be given a freedom of choice and I've always wanted to raise a kid just so that I could mould his/her thoughts without any prejudice. I'm not a parent yet but I grabbed a copy for my niece. Well, that's just an excuse. I think I bought it for me. I read the book and I found it to be really deep. It's not just about its message. It's something way beyond that. Embracing religions is something, but understanding it is something completely different. All in all, this book serves its purpose just right and I'm more than happy to give this little book 5 shiny stars.
My nieces always ask me about God, what's God like, are the Gods of various religions different from each other.... Well, these questions bother adults as well, and much of the violence in our world is because nobody really has an answer to these questions. Randa Handler attempts to find an answer in this lovely little children's book, about a Greek kid Niko, who talks to God. Niko lives in an ancient multicultural society, with 4 tribes - Greeks, Mayans, Chinese and Zulus, and each tribe claims ownership over God. But only Niko has the answer to how God is really like. This puts him in a conflict with his friends from the other tribes. But fortunately, it all ends well and everybody realizes the truth about God. Wish real life was as simple. My nieces loved the book and understood the simple philosophy behind it.
"I have just read The Boy Who Spoke To God. I had heard so much debate about it. I didn't know what to expect. It isn't a religious book. True, usually authors shy away from talking about religion. But, I can see why Randa Handler wrote it this way. How timely is such a book? With all the social problems out there, mainly stemming from religion, we need such a book. It doesn't take sides, but offers a way to talk to early readers about all the different beliefs out there. It's up to the parents and the teachers to discuss or not different beliefs. It will give them a great tool to say that believing in different things is okay as long as people respect each other! Loved it."
With Ferguson, and all the racism out there that keeps surfacing, Handler's books should be required reading in every elementary school. With The Boy Who Spoke To God, she launches into a topic rarely seen in kids books: religion. What a cool way to introduce to kids all the differences in beliefs and that it's really okay to believe what you want. From the multiracial characters to the timely topic this a must read to open discussions about different beliefs and what a great gift at any holiday as tribes feud about how to celebrate their holidays.
This is another fine children’s story by Randa Handler. In an imaginary kingdom, four cultures live in harmony and work well together--except when a holiday rolls around! Niko gets tired of all the arguing and prays about it. In answer to his prayers, Niko sees and hears from God in a dream. God looks like all the people groups together and tells Niko that the four groups can live together. Niko gives this message to the kingdom, but it takes a while for people to work things out and respect one another. Wonderfully detailed illustrations help tell the story. As an evangelical Christian, I might read and discuss this with children as a lesson in being friends despite differences. It is not a theological text, so it does not teach children to reject their own faith--although old people like me will have some concerns about postmodernism (there is no objective truth) and universalism (there are many ways to God and all gods are the same.) I received a free copy of this book from the author for review.
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A book every child--and every adult--needs to read. The Boy Who Spoke to God paints the story of Niko, a Greek boy living in a settlement shared by many tribes and races. His friends are all of different nationalities, and his people are very progressive and happy. Unfortunately, discord settles upon the village every year when it comes time to observe spiritual holidays. Niko cannot understand why his parents, his friend's parents, and even the king become so agitated and always fight around this time! He prays to God asking for an answer to their problem, and receives a very enlightening answer. The people of his village misunderstand God's words though, and eventually become angry with Niko for creating a bigger rift among them. With a large weight on his little shoulders, poor Niko continues to try and resolve his people's unhappiness, never once relenting in his pursuit despite their misplaced anger. In the end, he shows them that true happiness comes from a place of acceptance, not bickering and arguing over who is or isn't right. A really touching story that teaches a valuable lesson. Read this to your child - today.
"The Boy Who Spoke to God" by author Randa Handler deals with some important issues that every person must face. We are all created somewhat different with our family traditions, religious views, ethnic backgrounds, etc.... Yet with each of these differences we are very similar in nature. We desire to worship God who will relate and communicate with us as we fulfill the desire to please Him. Author Randa Handler takes the reader on a journey that allows one to see how differences can also make us stronger and better. This is a very well written children's book with vivid illustrations to help the reader understand this young boy's dream and interruption of it. Many times we see only part of the picture and thus we miss the greater blessing and fulfillment of the entire picture. Niko helps the reader to understand that when we can't see the full picture to keep looking, don't give up but rather keep searching until the greater picture comes in full view. When we seek we will find the truth we are searching for. Another point to the story is don't get discouraged when we only see one portion of the dream, interruption, or piece of the picture. Time and determination has a way of allowing the rest of it to come to light allowing the individual to become the person they desire to be. This was a very well written book on a child's level to better understand our differences as well as our unique sameness. 5 of 5 stars
What a charming illustrated children’s book with a great message of religious diversity! In a time when demonstrations are held to put down another’s beliefs and wars are fought over religion, Randa Handler provides a beautiful way to teach children that it doesn’t have to be that way. The main character is a young Greek boy named Niko who is struggling to help the Greek, Mayan, Chinese and Zulu people come together and stop bickering over whose religion is the true one. I loved the wisdom of Niko’s mother. She says, “I’m happiest when people are free to be who they want to be.” The text of The Boy Who Spoke to God is lyrical and is lovely to read aloud, but the illustrations are beyond fantastic. They have a very nostalgic feel, comforting warm colors and soft hues that stand out against other children’s books that have a comic book or video game vibe. This book has a moral of acceptance (“Happiness has as many colors as the rainbow.”) and while talking about religion and God, the book is promoting a feeling of harmony rather than supporting any particular belief system. I will absolutely be reading this book to my three kids at bedtime. I highly recommend this book!
The Boy who spoke to God is an essential must-have in today’s society. It is aimed at primary school children and through a wonderfully told fairytale it teaches racial tolerance as we see that different religions can happily co-exist in harmony. I think that the portrayal of God as the same God with different colours like the rainbow is a very clever analogy and one that children could understand and embrace. Moreover, the illustrations are colourful, fun and a stimulus to the imagination. I would like to see more of these books in our children’s libraries. A big thank you to the author. I would highly recommend this book as an excellent learning tool in schools as well as an ideal Christmas present for young minds....a wonderful stocking filler to feed their imagination.
A school library essential in every language! In this modern world, in many countries, schools contain children of mixed races, cultures and religion; these are the future of this world. It is for this reason I believe this inspired book should be available everywhere in all languages for children. It is written in a fairytale way, and this beautifully refreshing story is set in a wonderful magical kingdom where Greek, Chinese, Zulu and Mayan tribes live happily together, combining their skills, under the rule of King Dareios. However, one thing causes unhappiness – they cannot agree on whose religious beliefs and holidays are right, it upsets everyone, especially the children. Niko, a Greek boy and his friends talk about this and they decide that they want it to change, so that night Niko prays... God appears to him in a dream and reveals, “Happiness has as many colours as the rainbow. All my children can find happiness when their beliefs and actions do not hurt others.” Full of excitement, Niko thinks he has found the solution and tells everyone all he has seen and heard. However, instead of joy the news causes discontent, the people are unhappy, tribes divided and the kingdom suffers. So, Niko, needing guidance, prays again to God for help in finding a solution. God listens, and that night visits him once more in a dream, giving Niko the vision to understand the true meaning of his words, and the ability to explain them in a way the people can understand. Once again, happiness is restored to the kingdom, and the king makes a special proclamation to celebrate, but to discover what that is you will have to read the book... The storyline gently and inoffensively gives parents an ideal opportunity to promote racial harmony and tolerance of others religious beliefs to their children. There is also offered a well thought out answer as to the question, what does God look like?