Get on Board Little Children

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Category: Self-published
Date Published: October 23, 2012
Number of Pages: 180
Print Price: $6.99
eBook Price: $

What if couples had to obtain a license to have a child legally in the United States? Would a law, mandating that parents show financial security through an exorbitant licensing fee and demonstrate domestic stability through a psychological test, really prevent child poverty and abuse? Hypothetical questions like these become a reality in Victoria Randall’s recent dystopian adventure, Get on Board Little Children.

Sophie is a normal kindergarten teacher, saving up, with her husband Josh, to obtain a legal child permit. However, everything changes when she finds herself pregnant. They have to decide how much of a risk they are willing to take to affirm the right of this child to live. Their search for peace and security leads them on a trip through a new sort of “underground railroad” that tests their resolve, loyalty to each other, and deepest values. The novel is fast-paced and the colorful variety of characters Sophie and Josh meet on their journey adds humor, suspense, and a gritty touch of reality.

Some readers dismiss dystopian fiction as alarmist or extreme. However, Randall does an excellent job balancing a few frightening (but realistic, given situations like China’s One Child Policy) governmental permit laws with everyday people and relatable descriptions of middle class society in America. She leads the reader to question how far our society could limit our definitions of a person’s right to “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Randall also uses believable technology, which already exists or is likely to in the near future. She challenges us to consider how good innovations might be used in the hands of an increasingly militarized governmental agency.

My favorite aspect of the novel was its complexity within character motivation. A villain may have psychological scars that help him justify his murderous intent. On the flip side, a Good Samaritan may be motivated by greed, fear, or a rebellious intrigue with danger. Humans are not simply good or evil. Even when individuals end up on the good side, they may have imperfect reasons that affect their future choices and moral resolve.

While Get on Board Little Children is not primarily a Catholic novel, it does represent the Church, its clergy, and its symbols in a positive light. Occasionally, tokens of faith appear along Sophie and Josh’s path as guides and moments of reassurance. A priest once offers words of wisdom that can be applied equally to our pro-abortion society today. He warns, “This is a war between life and death. . . . I feel great pity for them [who chose death]. They are warring against their own humanity, and they will pay a great price in the end.”

I would recommend this novel for anyone looking for a short, entertaining narrative that is full of adventure. It also leaves the reader with a deeper appreciation for life and liberty and draws one to consider the moral complexities that lie within human choices.

ISBN-13: 978-1489582232
Original Language: English
Book Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.4 inches

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Kelly J. Henson is a life-long student of Catholic philosophical and cultural tradition.  She believes with Flannery O’Connor that “Drama usually bases itself on the bedrock of original sin, whether the writer thinks in theological terms or not. Then, too, any character in a serious novel is supposed to carry a burden of meaning larger than himself.”  Kelly considers authentic and intelligent literary criticism to be a crucial service to the development of literature and culture. Kelly writes with an eye for discovering the good, the true, and the beautiful in literature and in every day life.  She studied the liberal arts with a BA in English literature and language at Christendom College and a minor in theology.  She has worked in various teaching and ministry positions including instruction in literature, writing, and the humanities at a college-preparatory academy for several years. Kelly and her family live in North Carolina.  She is married to her best friend and is proud to be the mother of two beautiful children.  When she isn’t directing finger paint masterpieces and scrubbing noses, Kelly posts occasionally at [1] and [2]. Links: ------ [1] [2]

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