cover image The Believers

The Believers

Rebecca C. Jones. Arcade Publishing, $13.95 (176pp) ISBN 978-1-55970-035-1

More than anything else in the world, Tibby, 11, would like to be with her new adoptive mother, but Veronica Taylor, a celebrated television reporter, is always on the road. Tibby is left behind with her strict, unglamorous Aunt Evelyn, whose disapproval is reason enough for Tibby to befriend a strange boy named Verl and become involved with his religious sect, the Assembly of Believers. On the sly, Tibby attends evening meetings, witnesses an impressive display of testimonies and becomes convinced that miracles are possible through prayer. With great fervor, she begins to pray for her mother's return. Veronica's homecoming does, indeed, seem like a miracle, but conflicts arise when Veronica starts an active campaign to expose the Believers. The culmination of events tests the morals of each character and Tibby makes some important discoveries about Verl, Veronica and her aunt. Inspired by a friend's experience, Jones produces a riveting drama about faith and disillusionment. Her honest yet understated approach allows readers to form their own opinions about issues. Most effective is Jones's vivid portrayal of characters. With wisdom and sympathy, she explores their differing points of view. Ages 11-up. (Sept.)