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Elijah & the SAT: Reflections on a hairy old desert prophet and the benchmarking of our children's lives Kindle Edition
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I found it difficult to be sympathetic with the seemingly heartrending challenges of ensuring one's daughter had time to pursue competitive ice skating and letting go of the dream that one's son would play professional baseball. I don't doubt that these were real sources of stress in the Davis family. It's just that the Davis's scale is calibrated differently than most of ours.
On a less subjective note, the text suffered from numerous spelling and grammatical errors. Perhaps these were the result of technical challenges in going from print to ebook, but they were nevertheless distracting and gave the book the appearance of being rushed to press without adequate proofreading..
As a father with a child who is attempting to get into University of Michigan and Stanford, the insights into the SAT tests greatly intrigued me. My child was pushed to nail his ACT test (yes, I'm guilty, too) to the point where he was taking TUMS. He scored great. Stanford "recommended" he take a couple of SAT tests. The author offers many compelling facts about the SAT as well as the false idols we create over our spiritual needs.
The narrative is through Heather's eyes and the travails in her family's life. It describes their ups (baseball) and downs (brain surgery), among other things, and the philosophies they adapt along the way.
What's truly breakthrough is how the author conveys the story of Elijah the Prophet and how it relates to modern life and this family. She weaves a seamless tapestry that touches on multiple aspects of life. I found myself reaching for my Bible to read the passages she uses for her narrative, and I'm no Bible-thumper. Far from it. I had no idea the Elijah and Moses appeared at The Transfiguration of Jesus. No idea. I had no idea Elijah parted waters and brought people back from the dead. None.
The author's story would make a great movie.
The tonality is spiritually uplifting without being sappy; matter-of-fact and confident without being preachy. This meticulously researched book is an easy, page-turner read.
I highly recommend this book to Sunday-church goers and non-goers. I'm glad I'm reviewing it during the holiday season because it's very motivating. In fact, I plan to go to church for the first time this Christmas in a long, long time.
As someone in her late 20s, it was definitely a book that resonated with me. I could very easily relate to the pressures of society to be “successful” in my younger/formative years. Heather hit the nail on the head with her analysis of the damage that such an approach can have on children. At the same time, I could look at the content with the eyes of someone older and wonder, “how in the world will I know how to raise my future children if the pressure to perform to x, y, and z standards never changes?”
I think this book forces you to ask yourself some tough questions and challenges you to think ciritically through whether or not the end justifies the means. An excellent follow-up to this book was the documentary “The Race to Nowhere” (which Heather mentions in the book). There’s still so much to consider and learn in this ideology, and “Elijah and the SAT” is the perfect way to start having these important conversations!