From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.
Fourteen-year-old Mary Rudine, nicknamed M. R. and then just Mister, wears a promise ring, a symbol of her commitment to God and decision to wait for true love before she has sex. But in one brief moment, gorgeous, smooth-talking Trey, with his gentle, seductive hands, weakens her resolve, and she gets pregnant. In terrified denial, she picks up a book about the Virgin Mary, which details a similar struggle with her fate and her faith. In alternating, free-verse narratives, Grimes parallels the stories of both Marys their joy and terror as they carry a child, the support they accept from those who love them, and above all, their struggle to trust in God's will for their lives. With each carefully chosen word, each well-crafted image, the familiar teen pregnancy story is made unique by its faith-based undertones, dual perspectives, and lyrical language.--Bradburn, Frances Copyright 2010 Booklist
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Gr 8 Up-Mary Rudine, nicknamed Mister, enjoys going to church for the friends and the music, but her commitment to purity and her "good-girl" status are not enough to keep her from sleeping with her boyfriend. It only happens once-after that, Trey moves on and Mister is left with a guilty conscience. She turns to her church for support and forgiveness, which are freely given even when it becomes apparent that she is pregnant ("You'd think I grew a few extra mothers," she quips). Still feeling estranged from God, Mister turns to a fictionalized account of Mary, the mother of Jesus, and finds that the story resonates with her on many levels. As Mister's pregnancy progresses, she struggles with questions of what she should do, and whether giving her baby up for adoption would be the best choice. As she holds her newborn son, she marvels at the miracle of new life and chooses to trust God for what is best for her and her child, even if that means giving him up for adoption. The lyrical free-verse format of the novel communicates the deep emotions surrounding the parallel stories of Mister and Mary, two teenagers who have to deal with explaining their unplanned pregnancies to their families and friends. Though the story is most likely to appeal to Christian teens, all readers will be able to sympathize with the girl's conflicting emotions about her baby, her boyfriend, and her mother as she struggles to balance pregnancy with a normal teenage life.-Misti Tidman, Boyd County Public Library, Ashland, KY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.