Matthew Vos doesn’t like feeling afraid. And he fears lots of things, like threatening storms, high places, and dark caves. He wants to be brave, but discovers that being a hero isn’t at all what he’d imagined.

Will his dream to attend the Cadet International Camporee ever come true? And what’s up with that crabby new girl in town?

Join Matthew as he makes strides in facing fears and forging friendships.

Glenda Faye Mathes writes with energy and intentionality. When she writes about a coming tornado, it feels so real, I start glancing nervously out the window. Young people will feel like the author knows them, is inside their heads, so intimate is her knowledge of her readers. This is a frank and honest portrayal of a preacher’s kid, but one that speaks to the extraordinary challenges and joys of ordinary growing up. Highly recommended.

Douglas Bond, author of Duncan’s War and many other works of historical fiction

Well written and captivating, this book—as the previous one in the series—takes us through the everyday life of Matthew Vos, an inquiring and thoughtful fifth grader who faces many typical challenges of a middle child and “Preacher’s Kid.” There are surprises along the way, and important lessons as Matthew strives to overcome his fears and to be more like the heroes he admires. I was impressed by the author’s ability to describe in a very plausible and heartfelt manner the inner thoughts of a young child. Although the book is set in a specific situation (a Dutch Reformed community in 1996 America), many children in different circumstances will easily identify with Matthew’s feelings and struggles.

Simonetta Carr, author of Christian Biographies for Young Readers, including the San Diego Book Awards finalists, John Owen and Lady Jane Grey, and winner, Anselm of Canterbury

Matthew Makes Strides quickly captured my attention and provoked thoughts and emotions that are sympathetic with those of several characters in the story. Glenda Faye Mathes does an excellent job portraying the trauma, excitement, and relief of events where great danger and courage are present. Her chapters are rich in narration, imagery, momentum, and emotion. They also contain a good amount of humor to guard against overly heavy intensity. I am thankful that she is writing Matt’s story and sharing it with readers of all ages, and I applaud her for taking up topics of fear, loss, courage, and authentic masculinity.

Paul T. Berghaus, U.S. Army Chaplain, Ethics Instructor and Infantry Chapel Pastor at Ft. Benning, GA

Order Matthew Makes Strides, Book 2 of the Matthew in the Middle series, on Amazon.