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A GIRL NAMED MISTER by Nikki Grimes

A GIRL NAMED MISTER

By Nikki Grimes

Age Range: 12 & up

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-310-72078-2
Publisher: Zondervan

Mary Rudine, known to everyone as Mister, is a typical high-school student, engaged in studies, sports and church. Everything changes when she gives into sexual pressure from a new boy in her life. When she resists continuing a physical relationship, Trey breaks up with her, and Mister works to get back to an emotional even keel. One source of solace is a book of poems in the voice of the Virgin Mary. As she returns to normal, she is rocked with the realization that she is pregnant. “I know girls who have sex every day / and walk away. / Me, I break God’s law once, / and look what it gets me.” This novel in poetry looks clearly at both teen pregnancy and struggles with faith. Mister is exceptionally well characterized, as are her relationships with her mother and others in her life. The language is intimate and immediate. Mary’s story, which alternates with Mister's as Ishmael's did with a contemporary teen's in Dark Sons (2005), feels distant by comparison. While this can be categorized as Christian fiction, it is much more textured than novels commonly labeled as such. (Fiction/poetry. 12 & up)