Monday, August 8, 2016

Vocation and Rocks in Pockets

Picture Book: Rocks in His Head
Author: Carol Otis Hurst
Illustrator: James Stevenson
Summary:  This story is about the author’s father who has been a passionate rock collector since his pre-depression childhood. 
Not understanding the economic or learning potential for the subject of rocks, all joke about him having rocks in his head and his pockets. 
He's always ready to show an interesting rock to anyone who wants to see and learn. 
Throughout his early professional life as the owner of a “filling station” and a Model-T mechanic, rocks are in the background, literally displayed on small shelves in the station.
When his business fails because of the Great Depression, he moves the rocks to the attic of his home. 
Between jobs, he frequently visits the rock collection at the nearby science museum to compare his collection to the one in the museum. 
When the director of the museum hears his comparison, she very much wants to see his rock collection so she climbs into his attic and is compelled to hire him, but as a janitor. 
Eventually he impresses everyone and becomes Curator of Mineralogy and serves the rest of his days communicating his passion to others.
Hanna’s Comments:  This is a story about vocation. I learned this word as a teen at church camp and understood it to be more than a job. Instead it is a God-given potential for service and even ministry. Tweens and teens are ready to learn this concept and then explore and discover how they might serve the “Kindom” of God while tapping into their passions and skills. 
Note how the main character’s journey to become a mineralogist was neither simple nor easy. Be sure to read the info. about the author; she gives some more details about her father and his vocational development.
Original Publisher & Date: Greenwillow Books, 2001
Age & Grade Appropriateness: 4 and up, Pre and up 
Formats other than Book: None at present
Scripture Connections: For it is God who is at work in you, enabling you both to will and to work for his good pleasure. (Phil. 2:13)
Idea(s) for Application: Read this book to a group of tweens or teens and encourage them to begin considering their God-given inclinations and passions for vocational work. Consider doing a series on this concept by reading other picture books found here at PBT that tell the story of people discovering and developing their various vocations. Click on “vocation” in the large Labels section down below and you’ll find over a dozen books on this subject to consider.