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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
“Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven.” (Matthew 18: 1-3) My mother used to warn us not to be in a hurry to grow up because we’re old for a very long time. That was one of the fears of the three Mathison children; nine-year-old Brendan and his twin seven-year-old sisters, Amy and Alison. The world outside their small, quiet, friendly community was the complete antithesis of the placid, caring, loving home in which they now lived. They didn’t want it to change. So, together, they made a wish to remain children forever and the family’s cherished mantel clock allowed them the opportunity to see what they would miss out on if they never grew up.
L.M. Hayne’s The Runaway Clock is a loving, caring story about childhood and the endless trek time takes us on into adulthood and beyond (if we’re lucky, that is). The plot explores the freedom of being a child, but also the underlying wish of every child to grow up and be allowed to make their own decisions. Paralleling the treasured clock that relentless moves time forward with the childhood wishes to remain forever young, young readers will learn about God’s purpose in everyone’s lives and how, in many ways, we must remain like children, but not in a childish way, in order to find our final place of glory in God’s heavenly home. The language is simple for young readers to easily follow and the illustrations are charming and inviting. This is a wonderful story that will appeal to children of all ages. Beautifully told.