Published by Abbey Publishing on October 5, 2015
Source: I purchased a copy of this book.
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We've all been there. Well, most of us. That childhood dream of the most magical place on earth. We've all dreamed of seeing the sparkling castle in real life and hugging our favorite characters. But what happens when that childhood dream really signifies something much more-an escape, a rising above the ashes? And then it's dashed against the rocks of uncertainty? Of poverty and hopelessness? In this engaging, reflective, emotional true story, Nathan Monk takes you through the real life journey of a hopeful father struggling to hold his family together in an intimidating world of poverty and homelessness. Villains and evil witches lie in wait, ready to prey on their victims, while supportive sidekicks and fairy godmothers save the day in this remarkable tale of a child who rose from living in parking lots to becoming a widely recognized advocate for the homeless. Written partially from his perspective as a child, Nathan ties these stories back to current issues of social justice and the need for reform in the way we address poverty in America. A perfect blend of fairytale and in-depth expose, you're invited on an intimate journey with Nathan and his family as his father attempts to follow through with his mythical promise of unifying his family, righting wrongs of the past, fighting against a clock as it quickly approaches midnight, and Chasing the Mouse. Overflowing with passion, this touching, needed story will inspire you to reach for your own dreams, knowing that no matter the obstacles, no matter the risk, dreams really can come true ... if you just believe.
Father Nathan Monk is a local activist/advocate (and now, an author) who I really respect. He works tirelessly and does so much good in this area for the homeless, the LGBTQ community…really, any marginalized people who tend to be pushed aside for the sake of the community’s appearance or worse, completely ignored.
Chasing the Mouse focuses on the Monk’s childhood memories during a chaotic, stressful upbringing (growing up homeless), and how he’s worked to reconcile those memories with reality and an adult perspective. It’s an honest look at what it means (and what it’s like) to be homeless, and some of the ways we can help. What really struck me is that homelessness doesn’t always equal “on the street.” The Monks often shuffled between friends’ homes, living in their car, in various motels, etc. And it was hard. The impact of this was a huge takeaway for me.
Normally I’m put off by self-published titles that needed a good bit more editing. The mistakes in this book (I read the Kindle version) would be such easy fixes, too. But you know, the content here is so amazing, I didn’t even care about the typos. Shocking, I know! Monk’s sincerity, passion, and his loving approach toward his fellow human beings…those things really got to me. This book tells an important story, and it feels personal. You finish this book inspired to take action.
Want to help? Father Monk has started a cold-weather homeless shelter for women and children that is completely volunteer-run. You guys, this is an incredible place. I dropped off C’s gently-used stroller and was overwhelmed with emotion. The Beacon needs donations to keep going throughout the winter. You can visit the shelter’s Facebook page and click “Donate Now” to help them do that.