Devoted

Jennifer Mathieu. Roaring Brook, $16.99 (336p) ISBN 978-1-59643-911-5
Rachel, the second sister of 10 children, attends Calvary Christian Church in Clayton, Tex. When she’s not at church, she cares for her younger siblings and household, “learning how to be a wife and mother; a helpmeet with a cheerful countenance.” Unlike her older sister, Faith, 17-year-old Rachel struggles to accept this apparently inevitable future: her father makes her destroy A Wrinkle in Time, a book that he says dishonors the Lord, and Faith corrects her for unintentionally defying “biblical femininity.” Employing first-person, present-tense narration, Mathieu (The Truth About Alice) draws readers close to the drama raging in Rachel’s mind, while she performs repetitive, stifling tasks. When her parents discover her most brazen sin, defying her father’s order to avoid “those who have left the flock,” they present Rachel with a choice: attend a camp she fears will brainwash her or leave home. This exploration of life within and removed from a fundamentalist community makes for riveting reading, all the more poignant for the sympathetic characters in both worlds. Ages 12–up. Agent: Sarah LaPolla, Bradford Literary Agency. (June)
Reviewed on: 04/20/2015
Release date: 06/02/2015
Genre: Children's
Ebook - 336 pages - 978-1-59643-912-2
Paperback - 336 pages - 978-1-250-09069-0
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