Coaltown Jesus and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Buy New
$12.67
Qty:1
  • List Price: $16.99
  • Save: $4.32 (25%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
In stock but may require an extra 1-2 days to process.
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
Coaltown Jesus has been added to your Cart
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Coaltown Jesus Hardcover – October 8, 2013


See all 11 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$12.67
$4.95 $1.98

Spring Books
The Big Books of Spring
See our editors' picks for the books you'll want to read this season, from blockbusters and biographies to new fiction and children's books.
$12.67 FREE Shipping on orders over $35. In stock but may require an extra 1-2 days to process. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.


Frequently Bought Together

Coaltown Jesus + The Port Chicago 50: Disaster, Mutiny, and the Fight for Civil Rights
Price for both: $27.86

One of these items ships sooner than the other.

Buy the selected items together
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Candlewick (October 8, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0763662283
  • ISBN-13: 978-0763662288
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 0.6 x 5.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #264,126 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 8 Up—Fourteen-year-old Walker is still reeling from the death of his older brother, Noah. Though he doesn't expect a response, he prays for help for himself and his mother, and he's stunned when Jesus appears in his bedroom. This Jesus is unlike the man Walker has read about: he's hip, witty, and somewhat irreverent, yet he encompasses a reassuring and gentle benevolence that helps Walker begin to come to terms with his brother's death. Told in sparse verse, Koertge's simple, poetic novel (Candlewick, 2013) translates well to audio. While the themes are serious-coping with the unexpected death of a loved one, strained family dynamics, the nature of friendship-Koertge successfully manages to keep the tone light without sacrificing the story's substance, which is even more impressive since the prose could have very easily slipped into an overly religious or didactic tone. Fortunately, Nick Podehl's narration remains faithful to the text, embodying Walker's fluctuating emotions and Jesus's quick-witted humor with poignancy. Although Walker is the story's protagonist, it's Podehl's portrayal of Jesus that really drives the narrative. With flawless comedic timing and understated compassion, he humanizes Jesus, allowing listeners, regardless of their religious affiliation, to relate to the character on a personal level.—Audrey Sumser, Cuyahoga County Public Library, Mayfield, OH --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

From Booklist

Walker is grieving the loss of his older brother, Noah, so he’s surprised when he finds Jesus in the middle of his bedroom. Jesus keeps appearing, and though Walker believes that no one else can see him, he’s pretty sure Jesus is real. As the appearances continue, Walker begins to come to terms with his brother’s death and his own strained relationship with his mother. Told in a sparse free verse, the book leaves much for readers to infer, as Noah’s death is never fully explained. Indeed, so much of the story revolves around Noah and the surrounding questions that Walker is left a somewhat undeveloped character without much backstory; readers will learn most about the characters through bits of information dropped throughout. The overall focus is on the theme of dealing with grief and knowing that although questions will always be there, we can help each other through trying times. Grades 8-11. --Sarah Bean Thompson

Important Information

Ingredients
Example Ingredients

Directions
Example Directions

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Paul A. Mastin TOP 1000 REVIEWER on February 14, 2014
Format: Hardcover
In Coaltown Jesus, Ronald Koertge imagines Jesus paying a personal visit to Coaltown, Illinois. When 14 year old Walker prays for God to help his mother, who is still grieving over the death of Walker's older brother, he doesn't expect Jesus himself to show up in his bedroom. But there he stands, next to Walker's bed, and Walker takes it all in stride. Over the next several days, Jesus spends time with Walker, getting to know him and offering wit and wisdom for the young man.

Koertge's vision of Jesus may jolt some of his readers. Walker's a mouthy, sometimes cynical American teenager, and this Jesus relates to him on that level. So we get some strange Jesus humor, like when they pass a display of nails at the hardware store. "Jesus stared at his hands. 'I mean nails are a miracle and God is in them, but they still give me the shivers.'"

Off-beat as his Jesus may be, Koertge does have some good insights. My favorite has to do with prayer. After listening to an elderly widow in Walker's mother's nursing home reminisce, Jesus comments on how much he loves listening to people's stories. "But what do I get? 'Send me a pony.'" Walker asks whether it's OK for kids to want a pony. "Little kids I don't mind," Jesus replies. "every kid wants a pony. Stop with the begging, okay? Adore me for a change. Or give thanks. I like gratitude. Or ask for guidance. But on, no. It's always the pony."

Coaltown Jesus is a fun, quick read. Followers of Jesus might be uncomfortable with some of Koertge's characterization of Jesus, but I do love that he presents Jesus as a having a sense of humor and who we can all relate to.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the complimentary electronic review copy!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By E.J. Jones on July 27, 2014
Format: Hardcover
I just want to say: "Coaltown Jesus" is not an easy book. Oh, I'm sure you all think I'm crazy. The thing's less than 150 pages, written in free verse, and it has "Jesus" in the title, not to mention as a main character in the story. What on earth could be difficult about it?

I'll tell you what. This book is about a boy trying to overcome the death of his brother and a mother who can't forgive herself for the death of her son. It's about loving someone who's made a lot of bad choices and trying to see the good in him. It's about watching everyone else be okay and wonder how the world can go on. And it's even about running a nursing home and all the sadness that can come with that.

Oh yeah, and it's about Jesus. But this isn't your typical Lamb of God. In fact, Ron Koertge's version of Jesus hates being called Lamb. Why couldn't it be Dog of God? He really likes dogs. This Jesus is sarcastic, irreverent, and totally human - just the kind of Jesus a teenager like Walker needs. With Jesus' help, Walker learns that his life doesn't have to end just because his brother's did.

Another great thing about this book is that it doesn't try to answer open-ended questions. For example, why did Walker's brother die when his mother's nursing home was full of patients ready to go? And where is Noah? Is he in heaven, hell, somewhere else? Every reader will have a different take, a different answer. And that's fine, because finding definitive answers isn't the point of this book. Jesus makes it clear: the point is healing, even when you don't know you're broken.

I admit that some people won't like the Messiah talking like a teenager. It's a little jarring, but I ended up loving it. It reminded me of something I feel like Christians don't think about enough: that Jesus was an actual person once. Walker says at one point that he likes being reminded of that. Jesus responds, "Me, too."

Me three, Jesus.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kate Coombs VINE VOICE on January 20, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Walker and his mother live upstairs from his mother's nursing home, where she cares for residents with respect and tenderness, making it a happy place. But something terrible has happened: Walker's older brother Noah has died. Now Walker prays for help for his mother, who can't stop grieving. To Walker's astonishment, his prayers are answered when Jesus shows up in his room and basically hangs out on and off for a few days.

Of course, Jesus isn't quite what Walker expected: he's by turns funny, philosophical, and--dare I say--irreverent. But he grows on Walker, and he grew on me as a reader. All the while the plot crept up on me, till I was smiling and teary-eyed both on the last page.

I'm sure some Christians will think this book is inappropriate, but I found it a perfectly nice match for my own faith. And not just because I imagine Jesus really does have a sense of humor. As a poet, I also appreciate how very effective Koertge can be in just a few poems, a few lines--this is a small, spare book, but it says an awful lot.

You don't need to be a believer to appreciate Coaltown Jesus. Or at least, you don't need to believe in God. But you do need to believe in life, in people, and in hope.

Note: If you like this one, try God Got a Dog by Cynthia Rylant, which has a similar loving, yet whimsical tone on the topic.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Format: Hardcover
Told in verse, Coaltown Jesus shares the story of a young teen who has just lost his brother to a drug overdose. Praying every night for help because his mother cries so much, Walker is surprised when Jesus appears to him in his bedroom. When he asks Jesus to help his mother, Jesus disagrees and tells him he’s there to help Walker instead.
Though Jesus’ methods seem indifferent at times, Walker slowly realizes that he isn’t handling the death of his brother quite as well as he seems to think. Whether Jesus is a real figure in his life or just an imagining of his mind is never clearly stated but either way, Jesus’ time in Coaltown helps both Walker and his mother understand that life isn’t always easy or clean but love and understanding will heal us all.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more
Coaltown Jesus
This item: Coaltown Jesus
Price: $16.99 $12.67
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com