Published: August 3rd 2009, Puffin
Pages: 181 pages, paperback
Series?: No, this one's a standalone
Acquired: Picked up at a Puffin Live Panel event
Summary (from Goodreads): In the beginning there was me and Mum and Dad and the twins.
And talk about happy families, we were bountiful.
But it came to pass that I started doing sins.
And lo, that when all our problems began.
My review: I was lucky enough to meet the amazing and extremely talented Morris Gleitzman last week at the Puffin Literary Panel event. A few of us bloggers got to speak to the authors before the event took place and it was brilliant - as well as being a fantastic writer, he's also a lovely man. He very kindly signed my copy of Grace so I was so excited to get home and start reading it - so many people recommended it to me I got cracking on it straight away.
Brought up within a strict religious sect, in school and church Grace has been taught not to question the rules of her religion. However, her father has always encouraged her to ask questions and learn about the world around her. When the elders of her church banish her father for 'causing a disturbance' with his questions, Grace realises that she may never see her father again.
Grace is such a wonderful and important book. It gripped me from page one and I genuinely cared about our little heroine, Grace, and what happened to her and her family. Each of the characters is brilliantly human and every voice unique. Nannie was one of my favourites and, of course, Mr Denny and Kyle - who offer Grace kindness when she needs it most.
One of the things I loved about Grace is that she never questions her faith - it is her faith that keeps her strong throughout the ordeal she goes through. Religion is not something that is criticised or discouraged and I think the way Gleitzman handled the trickier issues in the book is admirable.
I would absolutely recommend Grace to anybody who has ever felt as though they don't belong, to anybody who has ever questioned right and wrong and to anybody who has ever had the courage to stand up for what they believe in. Pure magic.
First line: 'In the beginning there was me and Mum and Dad and the twins.'
Total: 16/20 (B+)