Saturday, May 7, 2011

Departures: Two Rediscovered Stories by Robin Jones Gunn

Recommendation: Recommended

Two short novellas give us a slice of the life of a teenage girl. In the first story Christy Miller joins her family on a vacation to their former home town in Wisconsin. While there her childhood crush, Matthew Kingsley, starts showing a romantic interest in her. Christy begins to think seriously about what she is looking for in a future mate, and she begins to see some of the things that have kept her grandparents together for 50 years.

In the second story young Sierra Jensen gets to enjoy a weekend with her best friend Jana and Jana's family at their cabin in Montana. As they experience difficulty arriving at their destination Sierra begans to have second thoughts as her and Jana don't seem to be able to get along. Jana seems to be only interested in boys.

Positives: I thought the author did a great job of portraying the mind of a  teenage girl. In the first story I was encouraged that Christy sought wisdom from Scripture and through prayer as to how to handle her emotions. While she certainly lost her temper and became confused, she knew to run to her Savior during these times. In the second story I liked that Sierra became comfortable with who she was and where God had her in life.

Negatives: Both of these stories focused a lot on romance and relationships with boys. It just seemed a bit too much for me. While I know they think about boys a lot (I was a teenage girl once!), there certainly are other important aspects to their lives.

Talking Points: Talk with your daughter about her own thoughts and feelings in regards to relationships with boys. How are her current thoughts and behaviors toward boys preparing her for a future of marriage to one man. Our thoughts are so easy to hide from others, but one of the ways we are to love God is with our mind, our thoughts. Philp. 4:8 tells us how we are to think in a way that honors God. Teach your children to think about things that are true and honorable and just and pure. With Scripture, help them train their minds so they are not forever wandering and wondering "Does he like me?" or "Is this friend mad at me?". Talk with her about her purity. Gal. 5:19-21 talk about the deeds of the flesh. The first three mentioned are sexual immorality, impurity, and sensuality. I Cor. 6:15-20 speaks of sexual sin harming us in many ways. Where are your children getting their information about sex?  From their friends? From their teachers at school? Or are they being taught by you from God's Word what the standard of holiness is?

Age Level: 14 years of age and older

I received this book for free fromWaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

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