Have a Little Faith in Me

Sonia Hartl. Page Street Kids, $17.99 (336p) ISBN 978-1-62414-797-5
Just after junior Francine “CeCe” Wells’s first sexual experience, her boyfriend, Ethan, breaks up with her and announces that he is headed to Christian-focused Camp Three SixTeen to restore his virginity. Desperate to hold onto Ethan, CeCe enrolls at the three-week camp, too, even though she’s not a Christian and doesn’t plan to become one. CeCe’s best friend and next-door neighbor, Paul, a veteran of the camp, offers to join impulsive CeCe to help keep her out of trouble. Focused on winning Ethan back, CeCe begins camp grappling with insecurities about her worth. But continual support from Paul and her three female cabinmates—who model acceptance, friendship, and love—open her mind to the rewards of compassion and what it means to truly care for others. Writing in CeCe’s acerbic voice, debut author Hartl talks frankly about teen sexual experiences and her protagonist’s initial cynicism about religion: “I may have lacked Christian prowess, but at least I knew enough not to talk about hand jobs in the Jesus camp van.” Bitingly funny, this first novel promotes positive and salient themes of love, consent, female empowerment, and accountability. Ages 14–up. Agent: Rebecca Podos, Reese Agency. (Sept.)
Reviewed on : 09/11/2019
Release date: 09/03/2019
Genre: Children's
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