Click here to read reviewer David L. Johnson's take on The God-Shaped Hole.
There are so many inspirational and spiritual books flooding the marketplace that it is hard to find one that stands out in any major way. Granville Angell’s The God-Shaped Hole is a special book that appeals to both children and adults with its simple tale of coming to accept grief, facing fear and finding courage within.
The story centers on a little boy named Joey, who is facing many new and not so pleasant experiences in life: the death of his dog, a difficult relationship with his best pal, the 9-11 terrorist tragedy and finally the illness of his beloved grandmother, whom he looks up to for courage and for comfort. All of these things bring out fear and anxiety in Joey, and he turns to his Grandma for help in making sense of it all. She tells him about the God-shaped hole that exists within each of us, and how Joey can learn to fill that hole.
The rest of the tale focuses on Joey’s quest to learn how to find his courage and inner light in a world filled with darkness and despair, and it is a heart-warming tale that will appeal to readers of all ages. Though I felt the story ended a bit abruptly, and I got a little tired of the repetition of the phrase “God-shaped hole” throughout, this book is a simple treasure for anyone who is struggling to make sense of their world and find their inner strength, especially children and teenagers.
The writing is simple and inviting, and the wonderful illustrations that accompany the text add to the book’s magical quality. The ongoing dialog between Joey and his Grandma is a modern twist on the ancient tales of talks between sage and student, presented in a sweet fable that will touch the heart and uplift the spirit. Just as Joey learns about his own God-shaped hole and how to fill it up with all the right things, we the reader learn about our own inner emptiness and are inspired to find our own answers right where God put them…within.