The Price of a Cocoanut | Book Review

A story of Indiana preacher O.L. King

I received this book from a great friend while my wife and I were visiting him. With enthusiasm, he gave me a summary of the book and then gave it to read.

At first impression, this is a short book with big font size. Meant for children as some websites index it. This is the story of O.L. King and has been reprinted by T. Paul Greene. Originally shared as a message at a convention in 1925 as King says in the foreword. This is an old book and is set around a very old time.

O.L. King starts by sharing about his early life. How they lived a fulfilled life with less money and hard work. He doesn’t sound complaining when he talks about the hard work he had to do to get bread or flavored candy. But seems rather happy and proud about his early life. He says, “Growing up in the midst of what the world would now call hardships, we were made out of something besides luxuries and something more real than paint and powder and more endurable.”

The story moves ahead to Christmas day when their family received a Christmas gift box. Inside was chocolate, apple, and cocoanut. Needless to say that King loved the cocoanut and started reading about where this “Monkey faced” thing came from in the geography books he borrowed. At this time in my reading, I can’t stop but imagine O.L. King having the same expression about cocoanut as the boy in the viral corn video. Here is the video for those who haven’t seen it.

Originally published by Recess Therapy on 4th August 2022.

4 years later, King gets to visit his grandfather for Christmas and on Christmas day goes to visit the town with him and his friends. His grandfather gives him a dime to spend on a Christmas gift. To his astonishment, he finds a cocoanut for sale in one store exactly for 10 cents. He hadn’t had cocoanut ever since that Christmas night 4 years ago. But hearing the small conscience voice as he repeatedly calls it in the book, he decides to go against his love for cocoanut and rather spend it on a 10-cent Testament of the Bible. Which didn’t make sense to him but nevertheless he buys the testament and goes on. As God had already planned his evening that day, King eventually meets a poor boy on the same street. King shares the Christmas story with him and as his conscience would command him, gives the Testament to the boy.

Some years down the line King goes on to preach. He finds the boy in the crowd still holding on to the testament that King gave him. After talking to the boy, King realizes the price of the cocoanut. That new testament that King bought instead of getting a cocoanut had helped the boy know about Jesus Christ. That testament eventually went on to save his entire family and most of the townspeople.

This is how King describes it in his book, “That was the price of a cocoanut when the lad had obeyed his conscience, slain the Goliath of appetite and set the price of a cocoanut to gathering interest in the kingdom of God — one saved in heaven, shouting the victory; one home saved and made happy; a gambling den turned into a church and a Sunday school where people met to read their Bibles together instead of meeting to gamble, play cards and fight and shoot the ceiling full of bullet holes. All this cost the author the self-denial of just one ten-cent cocoanut that he wanted so very much but hasn’t wanted since.”

King would go on to continue the story of how he went to Bible college and met the same lad from the streets there too. The receiver of that Testament would become a preacher and go to China to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ.

The story is ended with King moving to the West Indies in the midst of 40 acres of cocoanut palms.

Altogether the book is a good read. Based on the true life incident of O.L. King, the book is easy to read and carries a message. This can be the exact message you need to read today.