We’ve enjoyed all the biographies we’ve read so far in the 40-volume Trailblazer series by Dave and Neta Jackson, but I thought I’d highlight Round Up of the Street Rovers – partly because we just finished reading it, and partly because we found it so applicable to this season of life.
There has always been a pressing need for the church to show hospitality in our broken world. Those needs don’t disappear when there’s widespread sickness; when it becomes a criminal offense to open your doors to the hurting, the need is often magnified. More people are suffering and fewer people are able to help, held back either by legitimate fear of illness, or by legitimate fear of fines and imprisonment.
This story of how the Children’s Aid Society came to be about, and the importance of open homes and hearts, as told in Round Up of the Street Rovers, confirms the decisions of those who feel led to foster, adopt, or otherwise find their homes bustling with activity created by children who may not be related biologically.
Set in New York during the early 1900s, Round Up of the Street Rovers gives us a glimpse of what life was like for orphaned, homeless, or abandoned children who were trying to survive without any adult assistance. Reverend Charles Brace, who began the Children’s Aid Society, had a goal of placing the children he found roaming the streets into loving families for the best chance of a bright future.
Each character in the story struggles with different aspects of growing up in exceptionally hard circumstances. The inner turmoil of a young person who desperately wants to be loved but instinctively feels as though they must depend upon themselves for survival is helpful for children and adults alike in understanding the behavior of those who are far less privileged than we.
I’d recommend Round Up of the Street Rovers as a family read aloud, not just as a great piece of historical fiction, but as a living book that will, at the very least, inspire the hearer to be more empathetic to “the least of these,” by allowing us to walk a mile in their shoes.
You can purchase Round Up of the Street Rovers, here, very inexpensively.