The Vision of Malaika by Rodney Jacobs
A children’s book focusing on a serious issue filtered through the lens of faith and religion The Vision of Malaika, written by Rodney Jacobs offers a lot for children and their parents to contemplate. The story begins by introducing the title character, and then explains how she has had a dream in which an angel visits her and tells her to become a messenger of God. The angel explains to her that the suicide rate among young people is currently very high, and the Lord wants Malaika to make the people aware of this, and for her to spread a message of a loving God, to therefore help the sadness that many young people are feeling. Malaika goes out and speaks to people, quoting the Bible along the way to help the situation at hand improve. Towards the end of the book, the angel tells Malaika that Jesus is very pleased with her, as the young people she has spoken to are found singing and praying outside of her window.
While the book has a positive message and colorful illustrations to pair with every page of text, it would be remiss if we did not mention the somewhat dark nature of the narrative. The author is aiming to make young people aware of the real problem of youth suicide, but it appears as if Malaika is a rather young character to be talking about something like this, as in real life she probably wouldn’t understand the topic. If Malaika was depicted as a teenager herself, then the book would hold more sway. Highly religious in tone, the story is not for everyone, but if you are a parent who likes teaching your child the tough life lessons, then this book could work for you. Jacobs has certainly put a lot into this book, and his passion for the project is evident, we just wish the source material and the story itself fit better together.
To purchase a copy of the book, click here to find it on Amazon.