A heart-wrenching story written by popular teen and pre-teen author Melody Carlson. I was unfamiliar with her writing previous to this story, but she has written many books for children of all ages, including of number of series aimed primarily at teenage girls. This story would fall into that category.
One the eve of her best friend moving away, Cleo and Lola makes plans to go into the city - against her mother's wishes. The night takes a tragic turn and in the morning Cleo is visited by police officers telling her that her mother has been murdered. In the weeks and months following this tragedy Cleo must learn to deal with her regrets and find forgiveness.
Positives: The author deals with a difficult topic very honestly. The struggles the characters went through and their responses were very believable. The Scriptural truths of repentance and forgiveness were clearly presented and I loved seeing those truths come alive in the characters.
Talking Points: To deal with her mother's death, Cleo turns to prescription medications and quickly becomes addicted. Talk with your children about the dangers of addiction to any substance. Teach them to understand that Christ is all they need, He is sufficient to meet every need they may ever have. I Cor. 10:13 talks about temptations we face, tell your child that Christ faced every temptation they did and relied on God his Father for strength. One of the main things Cleo struggled with was guilt. Talk to your child about repentance and forgiveness. Use I John 1:9 to teach them that their sins can be forgiven. Psalm 51 is a great psalm in which David cries out for forgiveness and confesses his sin. Teach your children to cry out and confess in the same way to experience the full forgiveness of their Savior.
Age Level: 14 years old and up