I have been consulting on a series of books called the Amazing Adventures of Harry Moon and the Enchanted World of Honey Moon. Harry, 13, and Honey, 10 are brother and sister and live in the fictional town of Sleepy Hollow, Massachusetts.
The stories are about children and the world of the spirit. They are not occult books. They are a value and virtue proposition. There is an underpinning of Christian worldview but it doesn’t hit the young reader over the head with a jackhammer.
As Halloween is coming up and the fictional town of Sleepy Hollow is a quaint New England tourism town, I thought it would be of value to put down some messaging for parents of our young readers for the website and catalogues. Here is it with a little help from my friends at Rabbit Publishers.
By the way, the “Great Magician” mentioned is referencing Jesus.
Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark
We are told by the Great Magician that there will always be trouble in the world, but to be happy for he has overcome the world. Too often, believers are given the message to run away from the world with its darkness and evil confusion rather than engage it with truth and understanding.
In the Amazing Adventures of Harry Moon, the tween reader is educated in active virtues such as compassion, love, patience and kindness. He or she learns about a treasure chest of qualities that help equip them to be adults of strong character. “There will always be trouble in the world, “ says Harry’s invisible friend, Rabbit, a manifestation of the Holy Spirit, “so there will always be a time for heroes”.
In one hundred and three passages in the Gospels, we are told not to be afraid. But as believers, we ignore the words and seem to fear a notion like Halloween. Some warn us, saying that the day is a manifestation of all that is wrong in the world, celebrating violence and recklessness.
All the while Halloween has become one of the most popular holidays in the Western World. Spiritually-minded parents are not going to keep their kids from Halloween. Perhaps as parents and spiritual citizens of another Kingdom, we are all better served by equipping our children for the dark rather than teaching them to run from it.
In the 5th century, the early church wisely took the ancient holidays of the winter solstice and the spring festival of Easter and transformed them into holidays that celebrated the story of the Christ. Today, we know Christmas as a celebration of the birth of the Christ and Easter as the marker of his death and resurrection.
Samhain, the night that eventually became Halloween, was an ancient holiday in early England. Samhain was an annual event to commemorate the ancestors. The locals dressed in the fashion of those people long gone to show reverence for their lives and accomplishments in their respective cultures.
Just as Christmas and Easter celebrates birth, death and resurrection, we at Rabbit Publishers believe that Halloween can be a place to celebrate what the Great Magician left behind for all people, the Holy Spirit.
The Amazing Adventures of Harry Moon takes place in the small, New England town of Sleepy Hollow where “Every day is Halloween night”. This fictional branding was decided by an evil mayor of Sleepy Hollow in order to bring tourism to a little town suffering from the realities of economic hardship.
For Rabbit Publishers, we have decided to take our young readers boldly into the sometimes dark and mis-directed world of Halloween and celebrate it with the power and mystery of the comforter, the Holy Spirit.
Never before has there been a series for the Christian tween that regards the Spirit in a manner that speaks to the contemporary young reader. We are convinced that Halloween can be viewed as a teachable spiritual laboratory for the young mind and soul of the 21st century tween.
Rabbit Publishers understands that this is an extraordinary feat and we take our task seriously. Our young protagonists, thirteen-year old Harry Moon, and Honey Moon, ten, come from a solid and healthy home that embraces faith. The fruits of the Spirit are stenciled on the kitchen alcove where they eat every morning. Harry and his sister, Honey take on the evils of Sleepy Hollow because they are children of faith and virtue. While they are imperfect, they are authentic role models for their readers. They are emerging heroes.
We live in a complicated world, a Halloween world. It is neither black nor white, neither good nor evil. Instead, it is a world that is incredibly ambiguous. We must develop strength in our children to be able to figure it out and make right and healthy choices. As the great Evangelist John Stott said, “Culture is ambiguous because man is ambiguous. Man is both noble (because made in God’s image) and ignoble (because fallen and sinful). And his culture faithfully reflects these two aspects.”
We must be watchful for things that go bump in the night as well as in daylight. In the last book in the series, Harry’s War, Harry Moon must go toe-to-toe with the evil mayor, Kligore and discovers once and for all his own ancestral lineage and his eventual spiritual calling.
Harry Moon will also finally understand where his own name sprang from. As Genesis states, “God made two great lights – the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night.” Harry Moon’s name came from God. He was named as the light to govern the night. When you see the moon on every book, on ever standee and every picture with our Amazing Adventures series, Rabbit Publishers is always pointing to the generation of the future who will be the light in the night.
Don’t be afraid of the dark. There will always be trouble in the world, so there will always be a time for heroes.