Monday, January 7, 2013

Catholic Reluctantly

When your kids hit the preteen and teen years, it can be a struggle to find books that both interest the kids and are acceptable from a parental view point.  I'll readily admit that we often encourage the kids to just skip right over the young adult section of the library because so many of the books marketed towards kids of this age are full of inappropriate themes or promote immoral attitudes. I wish this problem could be solved by simply pulling out many of the books published by Christian authors for youth, but many of those books are lacking in any real substance or story.  Far too many Christian books seem to focus on pushing a message to the detriment of the story itself.  Needless to say, this sort of book makes it very hard to keep teens interested in actually reading something. In my attempt to find a new series of books that I could have around for my boys, I picked up a copy of Catholic Reluctantly: John Paul 2 High Book 1.

As the title suggests, this book is the first in a series of books aimed at Catholic youth.  The series is written by a team of young Catholic authors.  The story focuses on a small group of teens who attend start up Catholic school together. Each of the students comes from a different background and carries their own issues into the school with them.

I loved that no two kids was truly alike. However, I was a bit put off by the overuse of the stereotypical. From the super geeky homeschooled kid to slightly dumb jock, every high school stereotype was represented in the book.  I'll admit that made the story a bit hard for me to swallow.  Once I got past that, my overall impression of the book was favorable.

This is a book that I would recommend for teen readers without hesitation.  I do plan to get the other books in the series for our kids.  However, I would not call this an incredibly suspenseful or challenging read.  A decent book to have available for young readers but not what I would call classic level literature.

In an attempt to make sure the book got a truly accurate review, I asked Sean (my thirteen-year-old) to read it.  His father interviewed him about the book and you can hear his opinion of the book here.

This review was written as part of the Catholic book reviewer program from The Catholic Company. Visit The Catholic Company to find more information on Catholic Reluctantly: John Paul 2 High Book 1. The Catholic Company has great gift ideas for all seasons of the liturgical year, be sure to check out their Advent selection and Catholic Christmas Gifts.


Dirtdartwife said...

As unfortunate as the reality is, the stereotype of super geeky homeschooled kid, the dumb jock, etc... it's really a reality. The kids truly are like that. It was like that when we were in school and it's like that now.

But the bottom line... what was the story about? I got that they attend school together, but what was the main story line? Was it just their interactions and socializations. (I'm looking for your input, I'll hear Sean's in a second).

What my problem right now is... I have kids giving C books. She's always been a voracious reader but now she has her friends giving her books to read. She reads them too stupid-fast for me to catch her. So we've had to have a come to Jesus meeting about that.

Cheryl said...

I'm never sure how much of the storyline to give away in the reviews. It's a fine line between getting you interested and telling you the story so I will send you an email.