Looking for a great family read aloud? Interested in getting a glimpse of what missionary life is like? Curious about the culture and customs of Japan? Then pick up the book Gift From the Mikado by Elizabeth P. Fleming. This book was a fabulous family read aloud that I just finished with my 5, 7, and 9 year old kids (2 girls, 1 boy). They all loved it and were begging to keep reading day after day.
I loved the glimpse into daily missionary life: hosting call to prayer each evening, entertaining other missionaries (who weren't always patient with children), making connections with dignitaries and being favored with gifts from important people. There were some very tender answers to prayer and some interesting conversion stories. The author is the youngest of the children in the family and recounts the tales she grew up hearing (even though she ended up moving back to the states with her family when she was quite young).
After the book was done, I was really wishing there had been a sequel. The family characters were so vivid and heartwarming, I would like to have learned more about their adventures in growing up.
We learned a good deal about Japanese holidays, cultural norms as well as superstitions. All told in a fun and lighthearted way. Grab your copy so you can find out what exactly the "gift from the mikado" was. You can pick up a copy from Amazon: