Why It’s Good I Married Marnell: Reason 356

“Can I take a book to school?” one of the boys (vagueness intentional) asked me after helping at the book signing. “We have a class library.”

For someone who labels most books as “boring,” this was an interesting request. He had flatly said he was not planning to read Captain Garrison, which neither surprised nor offended me.

First, he had asked for Captain Garrison bookmarks to take to school for all of his classmates, which he had done. Now, he wanted a book.

I puzzled over this a little. For one thing, it is a public school. I suppose I’ve heard incorrect stereotypes about public schools.

“Is your teacher a Christian?” I asked. “You know it’s a Christian book.”

Maybe that was a dumb question. It just seemed pointless and maybe rude to give the book to someone who definitely did not want it.

Then I said, “Do you want your own copy for sure? The copy that I gave you?”

I could hardly imagine that he did, so I figured that he may as well take that one to school.

“Yes,” he said.

Finally, I decided, For crying out loud, Katrina, he wants a book for once! Give him a book!

So I gave him a copy of Captain Garrison, addressed to his classmates.

October 23, Parent Teacher Conference

Well, neither Marnell nor I has ever been on the parent end of a parent-teacher conference before. But, let’s just say, I’m pretty sure it isn’t normal for the school principal and social worker to both show up at the meeting in addition to the classroom teacher.

We had a long and sober talk, the five of us, all concerned and slightly stumped. The camaraderie was excellent, though. You know how you can kind of pick up when co-workers don’t get along with each other. Or when the teachers don’t respect the principal? I didn’t sense any of that between these three. They were clearly a team.

“Bless you guys for taking this on,” the principal said.

For us who feel like we are floundering most days, those words are life-giving.

Toward the end of the meeting, after we had not reached any definite answers, the teacher looked at me.

“Thank you for the book!” she said.

“Oh, you’re welcome,” I said.

“The students are reading it out loud one chapter a day,” she went on.

They are? My mind went into a small tailspin.

“It’s been good, because there are some words that they don’t know, and we can use those as teaching moments,” she went on.

“Well, that’s good,” I said. “He’s so rarely interested in books that I decided to let him have one.”

“And he listens sometimes too,” she added. “I see him listening.”


Marnell and I walked out of the school hand in hand.

“Shocking that they are actually reading Captain Garrison, and that he is listening at all,” I told him, “But this is a public school? What will they think when they get to the part where he comes to Christ?”

“That’s good!” he said. “Don’t worry about it.”

He squeezed my hand with a squeeze that meant, Isn’t that the point of the book? Telling others about how Christ transforms people’s lives?

Reason #356 why it’s good I married Marnell!

Below, some favorite Captain Garrison fans. I’m always eager for reader photos! Email me at Katrina@500-words.com.

P.S. Thanks again to all those who donated to Nick’s trip. He is still working on Thank You cards. They aren’t all masterpieces. A few even open the wrong way. But I think it’s pretty impressive that they all are originals. You should get yours before too long if you haven’t yet!

7 thoughts on “Why It’s Good I Married Marnell: Reason 356”

  1. I wonder what the class will think at the end of the book. A good way to expose children to truth that may not hear it otherwise. I’ve enjoyed the 12 chapters I’ve read!

  2. Love this story! Be sure to tell us if you hear anything more from the school/teacher about the book!

  3. Curious on why you are sending to a public school? Are there no Christian day schools in your area?

    1. Katrina Hoover Lee

      We kept them in the same school they were in. It isn’t totally up to us at this point since we don’t know how long they will be with us.

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