cover image Joshua and the Children

Joshua and the Children

Joseph F. Girzone / Author MacMillan Publishing Company $14.95

This sequel to Joshua , an inspirational paperback bestseller, continues Father Girzone's recasting of Jesus's mission in contemporary settings. Joshua, an unusual and attractive young man, comes to a village rent by partisan strife (e.g. Catholic vs. Protestant; guerrillas and political agitators) and immediately captures the hearts of the children, enchanting them with gentle stories and amusing sleight-of-hand until they carry his message to the adults. Entering villagers' homes, Joshua eats and drinks at family meals, casts out fear, heals divisions on many levels. His legacy, following his death at the hands of violent men, flourishes in the children ``who almost overnight came to dominate the political life of the country.'' Since the story is a parable set in a place that could represent Northern Ireland or any other faction-ridden community, the applications of the message are broad. The simple, childlike tone and the inspirational subtext will appeal to the audience that enjoyed Joshua . Girzone is a retired Catholic priest of the Albany, N.Y., diocese. 150,000 first printing. (Aug.)