Book Review: The Ripple Effect

The Ripple Effect by Todd Freiwald and Shawn McQuaid.  Rating 3.5/5

The subtitle of this book 'A father's guide to training his son to survive in the wild and in the world' accurately sums up the intentions of this book.  With my first son being born a little over three months ago, I thought this book showed up at exactly the right time.  Mr. Freiwald actually promoted it at Mt. Ararat baptist church in Stafford, VA where my family and I attend regularly.  I was able to purchase the book from him and get an autograph with a little personal message to help me on my journey in preparing Everett for the world.  The book is short and to-the-point (124 pages) but serves as a perfect back-pocket-guide for spending true quality time with your son in the wilderness.  Freiwald is a retired Marine and an avid outdoors man.  The book uses four basic survival principles (food, water, fire, and shelter) and compares them to christian living, all the while providing guidance as to how a father can teach all of these principles while camping with his son.  Freiwald gives detailed instructions on how to build a fire, make shelter, and find food and water.  As he does this he provides Bible verses and christian principles to talk with your son about while both of you are engaged in the survival techniques.  In an age where technology overwhelms culture and anti-Facebook outcasts like myself seem stuck in the past this book was a welcome relief to unplug for a while.  I am excited to getting out in the wild with Everett as he grows up and hopefully instill in him an appreciation for God's nature that can be seen without a computer monitor or a television screen.   In the book, Freiwald uses examples from training his own boys and how they dealt with their coming-of-age moments in life.  While not a book of literary prowess, the matter-of-fact style helps get the point across without too much fluff.  To put it simply, it's a man's man-book for quick-tip guides on how to use hiking and camping to stir father-son conversations on profound christian principles.  I highly recommend this book for any father that wants to train his son to be prepared for world we live in today and to keep the Bible at the forefront of his decision making in life.

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