The Prophet Calls

Melanie Sumrow. Yellow Jacket, $16.99 (288p) ISBN 978-1-4998-0755-4
Growing up inside the protective walls of Watchful—a polygamous Mormon offshoot community set in New Mexico’s foothills—13-year-old Gentry strives to be an obedient daughter. But Gentry loves playing her new violin, and after the incarcerated Prophet prohibits women from leaving the compound during his weekly call, she and her brother sneak out to play in a music festival, and her whole family is severely punished as a result. Her brother is banished, their food rations are cut, and her father is sent away, stripped of his wives and children, to repent having “lost control over his family.” Left with a fragmented family and ever-stricter rules, Gentry is filled with inner turmoil (“I know what’s right, so why doesn’t it feel right?”) about the community leaders’ abuses and control, among them corporal punishment, cruelty to a child with Down syndrome, marrying off young women, and demanding full obedience under another name—“keeping sweet.” Though the story clearly conveys the dangers of manipulation, it also sensationalizes the community it portrays, all of which may prove tough for readers at the younger end of the stated age range. Ages 10–14. Agent: Rick Richter, Aevitas Creative Management. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 10/01/2018
Release date: 11/06/2018
Genre: Children's
Paperback - 288 pages - 978-1-4998-1203-9
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