Author: Morris Gleitzman
Published by: Puffin
Publication date: 3rd February 2011
Genres: Children's/Young Adult/Religion/Family
Source: Review copy from the publisher.
Grace is a short book about a highly religious family of five. They attend a community church, but it seems like it's more of a religious cult. Grace and her Dad don't totally believe in all the rules they have to stick to. Never touch an outsider (i.e a non-Christian), never talk to an outsider, no one who's part of the church is allowed a mobile until aged 21, if an outsider gives you food, you must boil it first - if you don't, the devil will seep into your body etc etc. The family try to leave the church, but it ends with very serious consequences...
At first I thought it was a bit stupid. I know that things like this actually do happen in real life, but at first I just thought it was a bit ridiculous. As the story went on, though, I started to find the whole story quite interesting and fascinating.
My favourite character wasn't Grace, but Kyle. Kyle is an outsider from Grace, but Grace still goes to him for help (I can't say why Grace needs help....I don't do spoilers!) Kyle seems so nice. He hardly knows Grace but he still goes through loads of trouble to help her.
The worst characters, for me, were Grace's friend Delilah and Grace's Grandpop. Delilah, for one thing, is seriously annoying - always going on about how Grace is 'so going to be judged' for doing this and that. In my opinion, Grace can do what she wants and Delilah shouldn't be trying to control her. Grandpop is the same. He's so controlling and mean....he lies to Grace a lot and he is just really nasty.
I feel really sorry for Grace in the story. She has to go through a lot, physically and emotionally. The emotions just seem to jump right off the page.
I'm not religious myself, but I still give this book a 5/5. It was truly amazing - read it in a day! I think this book should be okay for 9+....that's the recommended reading age on the back of the book.