An Allegory for Kids
by Dean Davis
"Beautifully written. Highly recommended for use in a setting, either family or group, where you can take time to reflect and share on what has been read.... A must-read!" ~ The Old Schoolhouse Magazine
When Sherman, a carefree lamb in the Good Shepherd's flock, grows into a young ram, he longs for adventure and acceptance by his peers. So, against his father's warnings, he climbs "Pleasure Mountain." There he encounters strange new enticements and dangers which at first seem exciting, but finally prove more than a young ram can handle on his own. Sherman finally admits his father was right when he called it "Sin Mountain," but how will he escape and get back to the fold? And what great adventure has the Shepherd prepared for him?
Retail price: $9.99
PUBLISHER'S CHRISTMAS SPECIAL: Dec. 12-17 only: $5.49 at:
Fiction / Youth (For ages 6 to 12 - or kids of all ages)
Trade Paperback 160 pgs / 5" x 7"
Discussion/Activity Guide Available (Included in eBook)
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Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, Dean earned a degree in philosophy from U.C. Santa Cruz. After several unsatisfying years on Sin Mountain, the Good Shepherd rescued him, and eventually Dean became a pastor and Bible teacher in Santa Rosa, California, where he currently resides.
Dean has often worked with children and youth, and enjoys story telling. He is currently director of Come Let Us Reason, a Bible teaching ministry specializing in the study of apologetics and the biblical worldview.Dean and his wife, Linda, are the parents of two sons and three daughters, all of whom have flown the family nest. In addition to The Dangerous Journey of Sherman the Sheep, Dean has authored nonfiction books including In Search of the Beginning and The Test: A Seeker's Journey to the Meaning of Life (Pleasant Word).
To know Dean better, we asked him these questions:
What attracted you to writing, and in particular, writing an allegory?
Dean: I trace my interest in writing back to the early 1970s, the time of my spiritual awakening. The more I read, the more I saw; the more I saw, the more I wanted to communicate. Soon, I began to write short stories, poems, and essays. When, after a good deal of wandering, the Lord brought me into His fold, my desire to relate fresh insights resurfaced and intensified. From the very beginning of my Christian walk I admired a famous old painting called The Good Shepherd, in which we see a Shepherd (with face hidden) rescuing a sheep trapped on a mountain ledge. That picture said it all. It also suggested a story which I told, with ever-increasing embellishments, to my children. Eventually, some of the folks who heard me tell it at church asked me to write it down. As I wrote, I found myself targeting adolescent - or pre-adolescent - boys, who today are in desperate need of godly role models, a clear vision of manhood, and a revelation of the thrill of genuine Christian discipleship. I started out telling my own story - which is simply "the old, old story" - in a way that young boys could grasp. Soon, however, I realized that an allegory was taking shape under my fingers, one that could well speak to kids of all ages. I hope it has, and I hope it will.
Tell us a little bit about Sherman.
Dean: "All we like sheep have gone astray," says Isaiah. In that sense Sherman represents any Christian whom Christ has graciously and lovingly rescued from sin. But I'd say Sherman specially represents kids who have grown up in the church but wandered away or have been tempted to try adventuring up "Sin Mountain." Dudley, on the other hand, is more like me - the guy who never had the advantage of a Christian family, but whom the Lord, with a mighty stretch of his long arm, somehow found.
Did you receive inspiration from watching your own five children?
Dean: Most definitely, especially from my two sons. Like Bertram (Sherman's father in the book), I observed their interest in the things of God, and also their interest in the things of the world. Like Bertram, I was concerned. Like Bertram, I wanted to be the voice of the Lord into their young lives, and the grace of the Lord, if and when they should fail. Sherman is not just for sons and daughters, but for dads and moms as well. I hope the story will encourage parents to trust in a good and sovereign God, and to aspire to work skillfully with Him as He ministers through them to His young ones.
You are a skilled writer of allegory. Are you a fan of writers such as C.S. Lewis?
Dean: I am definitely a fan of The Chronicles of Narnia. Those wonderful books penetrated to the depths, and I enthusiastically read them to all my children. I believe that in their fantasies Lewis and Tolkien did what they set out to do: to get a fresh hearing for the gospel among moderns hardened to the gospel. And they did it by giving us memorable characters shaped by the gospel, so we could see anew what godly Christian boys, girls, men, and women look like. If The Dangerous Journey of Sherman the Sheep will give the tiniest such peek to an impressionable tween, I will be pleased indeed.
Describe your typical writing session.
Dean: I like to compose on my computer. I have a wonderful homemade table that allows me to do so standing up (saves the back big time)! I'm a pretty slow writer: An excellent day's work will come to two or three pages. I suffer no interruptions, but toil on in more or less complete silence, holed up in my downstairs office. I keep lots of hot drinks by my side and take an occasional break to run upstairs and check out the latest developments in politics.
What other activities do you enjoy?
Dean: My wife, Linda, and I enjoy bicycling. I enjoy hitting a bucket of balls at the local golf course and sitting down for a pork tostada at Lepe's, my favorite Mexican restaurant.
Have you written other stories like The Dangerous Journey of Sherman the Sheep, for families to read together?
Dean: I have a few other stories tucked away in my heart; but they're on the back burner till I get a few theological projects out of my craw. I'm almost always writing. These days I enjoy posting short articles on my blog: devotionals, letters, essays, etc. Currently I'm doing a series on how to interpret Old Testament prophecies of the Kingdom of God.
Where on the Internet can people find you?
Dean: At my website: http://www.clr4u.org