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Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Review: Take Your Best Shot, by Austin Gutwein and Todd Hillard.

In "Take your best shot" Austin Gutwein (writing with Todd Hillard) shows us how one person can make a difference.

Most of us see a video of yet another group of suffering people in the world, and go "that's so sad," and maybe donate a few bucks to the cause. Austin (at the age of 9) was so stirred by a video about Maggie, an African AIDS orphan, that he became the founder of "Hoops of Hope." Now 15, Austin has seen his organization raise over a million dollars in AIDS relief, and build a school and a medical clinic.

In this book, we don't just find out about Austin's journey, but we are challenged to probe how we can "take our best shot" - the text is meant to be interactive, with space for personal notes. I can see this working well as a text for youth group (or adult group, for that matter) discussion. The writing is simple and straight forward. Todd Hillard, the co-author, does a great job at keeping Austin's voice authentic.

Austin's faith in a life-changing God takes center stage. He challenges us to not jump on somebody else's bandwagon, but to see what God's call for us personally is. How can I do something bigger than myself? How can I make a difference?

I would recommend this book especially for the teens in your life. In what has often been seen as a "me" generation, Austin is an inspiration.

posted by Birgit
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