Sneak Peek: Shawn Small’s “Into the Wonder”

Into the Wonder Book

As part of our 25th-anniversary celebration, Executive Director Shawn Small is offering the Wonder Voyage community a pre-release discount on his newest book, “Into the Wonder.”  This is a sneak peek of what you can expect!

Wonder Through Storytelling

Many years ago, my husband and I took a team of teenagers to get lost in the woods. At this Expozure adventure, I was first introduced to Shawn Small’s unique brand of storytelling. And I was hooked. When he said he was writing a memoir, I was skeptical. I didn’t think that his verbal storytelling agility could effectively translate into written form.

I was wrong.

A Modern-Day Action Hero

Over the last couple of decades, I have been in awe of Shawn’s ability to tell a good story. Whenever he gets in his element, I think, “Wow, this man is like a modern-day Indiana Jones.” When I read Into the Wonder, I realized just how on-point that impression was.

With many memoirs, authors try too hard to fit into readers’ expectations of who we want the writer to be. Not this one. Into the Wonder is unapologetically authentic about Shawn’s ups and downs. It is like reading his travel journals and personal diaries as we experience life through his eyes.

Shawn challenges us to reflect on our own lives and sense of wonder with tidbits like: “Once upon a time, most of us were full of playful imagination. While we lived under the shelter of wonder, we felt safe and protected, naive to the inevitable pain in the world. As we grew older, life-altering events caused us to exchange the gift of wonder for the burdens of a broken world.” (20)

Then he weaves in stories of his adventures becoming a snake charmer, exchanging shirts and shoes with a homeless man in Africa, and surviving more car wrecks and natural disasters than any human should endure.

Throughout the pages, we learn about the making of the man. Shawn’s upbringing. His draw to adventure through the Big Screen. His encounters around the world broadened his mind about what it means to be human, to be a Christ seeker, and to live a life of connecting with wonder.

In addition, his deep dive into his painful rise and fall in church leadership spoke volumes. Shawn’s ability to speak truth to the church’s shortcomings and his own struggles with faith helped me remember that the questions I bat around in my brain are not unique to me. 

An Invitation

Into the Wonder BookAs the name implies, Into the Wonder is an invitation to experience wonder through the eyes of a modern-day Indiana Jones and understand what it means to live a life of fearless surrender. Whether or not you know Shawn personally, this book offers the crumbs of hope that many people are starving for.

As Shawn says, “Wonder is both a clarifier and a cleanser. When we allow God’s presence to hold our stubborn and sinful hearts like clay under the hand of the sculptor, we are transformed and transfigured into the story He has gifted us.” (247)


“Into the Wonder” is now available on Shawn Small Stories.


Jamie has been involved with Wonder Voyage for over 15 years. Her passion is connecting givers with worthwhile project as our Legacy Director.

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