The Pastor's kid by Danielle Weiler
Ark House Press, 2016. ISBN 9780995391796
(Age: 14+) This book has many good lessons, and is about mostly good people, or at least those who are trying to be good. The 'Pastor's kid', Mattie, is in senior high school in the new town where her father has been sent to work with students. It is her mother, a teacher at her high school, who is more puzzling, disappearing as she does on many weekends, for reasons that are only revealed towards the end. The students appear to be supportive of the religious element at first but then things begin to change. However, the story remains centred more on the Pastor's family and their struggles to fit into their new world.
It is normal to see the presence of God as good for this family, but with the state high school's invitation to the pastor to work with the senior students, it is evident that the students' responses will vary. We are caught up in the story of the parson's daughter, Mattie, for whom romance blossoms as she is captivated by her new friend, Jay. Yet, while trying to help her father make the Chapel program vibrant and workable, puzzled at her mother's frequent weekend trips to the city, and at the same time trying to keep her cool as her sister begins a new relationship with Jay's friend, Mattie struggles and everything seems to get too hard.
This is a good story that addresses issues of the place of religion in the world today, especially in the public school system. It would be suitable for students in the middle and senior years of high school.