Sunday, September 26, 2010

Book Review: A Girl Named Mister

A Girl Named Mister. Nikki Grimes. 2010. Zondervan. 232 pages.

Her mom may call her Mary Rudine, but everyone else calls her Mister. Mister's a good girl--a Christian girl--sings in the church choir, loves volleyball. She has a best friend, Sethany, she tells all her secrets to. But things change when she meets Trey.

Things start off safe--and pure. Trey and Mister go on group dates--often at the church, or with the church youth group. But soon that isn't enough for Trey. And well, Mister, has to admit being alone with Trey feels right. Yes, she knows that being alone with him might lead her to temptation. Might lead her to have second thoughts about her commitment for purity. But. She does it anyway.

One time. Mister has sex with Trey just one time. But that was all it took for a new life to form, and for one teen's life to change forever.

Mister struggles with the guilt and shame of being a pregnant teen. She struggles with the truth. She tries to deny the pregnancy--for a time. But she is relieved to find comfort and support not only from her mom but from others in her church as well. She also takes great comfort in reading a book of poetry--a book she borrowed from her mom. A book of poems about Mary, the mother of Jesus.

Readers read not only the contemporary story of Mister but Mary's story as well. It imaginatively examines what it might have been like for Mary. Yes, readers may be familiar with the Christmas story. But have you really, really thought about what it might have been like for Mary and Joseph?

A Girl Named Mister is a verse novel. I enjoyed both Mary's narrative and Mister's narrative. I loved how Mister finds grace and peace in the gospel, in the church. I loved how she was able to turn this experience into a growing one--growing closer to her mother, growing closer to God.

Soft as fleece,
God's forgiveness
falls over me
like a quilt,
and this time,
I let it smother
my guilt.  (145)  

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

No comments: