The text is divided into three sections of four chapters, each detailing the life (or a few aspects of that person's life) and a specific question drawn from it.
- Moses: Can God really use me?
- David: Is God really there?
- John the Baptist: Is Jesus really the Messiah?
- Thomas: Is Jesus really alive?
- Solomon: Why do I feel so empty?
- Mary Magdalene: Can God use me after all I've been through?
- Samson: How can I stop messing up my life?
- John Mark: Will I always be a "Newb"?
- Rahab: Does my life matter?
- Bartimaeus: Am I desperate for God?
- Aristarchus: What kind of friend am I?
- Stephen: Will God ever cheer for me?
The book tackles topics relevant to most teens (and most adults), issues such as insecurity, loneliness, forgiveness, redemption, sanctification and purpose.
What I Like: Nearly everything! This would be a great choice for a teen book club or youth group study. I especially like the inclusion of female and lesser-known characters. By the time kids reach high school, most can quote backwards the stories of Noah, Joseph, Daniel and and the other big Bible players. This book introduces them to some people they may not have met yet and offers a fresh perspective on some characters we thought we knew, like David, John the baptist and Moses.The tone is unpretentious and conversational, something definitely attractive to teens. Scripture references permeate the text grounding it fully in truth.
What I Dislike: The illustrations appear crude and juvenile. Teen boys probably think they're great, but I found them irritating, distracting even. Also, this isn't a complaint, but an observation that might deter some readers: the book targets both guys and gals, but the tone and language clearly lean toward a masculine style of communication. It includes lots of sports references, direct and pragmatic arguments whereas a female author would likely offer a gentler approach with longer descriptions and more emotion. I like the bold approach! I just think it appeals more to guys than girls.
Overall Rating: Excellent.
Age Appeal: Teens
Publisher Info: Zondervan, 2006; ISBN: 0310262623; Paperback; 208 pages; $9.99
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Special Info: Visit the author's website (www.jeffkinley.com) for more information about him, his ministry and his other books.