Through a unique set of circumstances, Duane, a bird the size of a hummingbird but the shape and coloring of a peacock, finds himself living in the underground tunnels of Naysay among a community of cantankerous moles. Every mole consumes the day digging downward in hopes of being the first to discover the ever-elusive paradise Dupe Shaftways–everyone except Duane, of course. Duane thought his poor digging skills and ugly “fur” were due to the fact that he was inferior. In addition to his not looking like the others in Naysay, instead of digging downward, Duane has an inexplicable need to dig upward and seek the light. This labels him as an up-digger, and moles hate up-diggers, especially Miss Chinwag; Miss Chinwag has her own reasons for hating those that seek the light, and she makes Duane a target.
Duane thought his differences were his failings, but beakon birds were not meant to dig tunnels; they were created for other things. Duane learns that his uniqueness is a precious quality. He follows his heart, which leads him to God. While we may not always understand why bad things happen–especially to the innocent–watch as God takes ugliness and turns it into something beautiful.
Look through Duane’s eyes as he endures bullying and then meets The King of the Light. Experience Duane’s metamorphosis and miracle of healing. See his growth as he learns to trust the wisdom of The King and discover The King’s plans for Miss Chinwag. Cheer him on as he rescues his canary friend, Daisy, who is being held prisoner in the neighboring tunnels of Harrumph. Go with Duane in this 20,292 word middle-grade chapter book as he changes from disheartened to courageous, from rejected to loved, from being in darkness to light.
Each chapter begins with a Bible verse that is relevant to the message found within its pages. The book contrasts our natural responses to difficult situations with the teachings of Jesus. Scripture is delicately woven within the chapters, and there is subtle symbolism throughout. Duane exhibits honest emotions which make him a relatable character to all children, especially those who have been bullied and/or made to feel different.
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