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A Girl Named Mister Hardcover – August 28, 2010

35 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

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, KYα(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

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. Grades 8-12. --Frances Bradburn
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 232 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan (August 28, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310720788
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310720782
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1 x 8.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,132,502 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Nikki Grimes conveyed the fire-in-the-belly fervor of a Harlem girl who knows she was born to write in Jazmin's Notebook, a Coretta Scott King Honor Book. In My Man Blue, a Booklist Editor's Choice and Newsweek Children's Books of the Year selection, her artful words expressed a boy's journey from skepticism to trust. And now with Bronx Masquerade she presents a rich chorus of eighteen voices, singing openly about ideas, feelings, and questions--things that open minds, invite debate, provide release. A recent Booklist review proclaims: "As always, Grimes gives young people exactly what they're looking for--real characters who show them they are not alone."An accomplished poet, novelist, journalist, and educator, Ms. Grimes was born and raised in New York City and now lives in the Los Angeles area.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on November 13, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
If you've ever made a mistake in your life, completed some task that would make your parents cringe, you'll appreciate this book. Yes, it's written from a Christian point of view, but it's not overly done.
What I feel in M.R. is a young lady that is loved but wants, like all teenagers, more of everything. She doubts all beliefs that didn't originate from her young brain-just like many teenagers.

This book made me think back to my younger years: the good, the bad and the oh sooo ugly...

I loved the writing style. I loved this book in its totality.

Buy this book and give it to your mom for Christmas, your teenage daughter just because, the mom of a teenage daughter ....
On so many levels, this book is needed in many households.
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16 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Tanya Dennis VINE VOICE on September 20, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Formatted like a poetic diary, this book follows two Marys in very different times, but with one very similar situation.

Mary Rudine, nicknamed Mister, is a sophomore in high school hoping to earn a volleyball scholarship to college. She's active in her church choir and youth group; she can't remember a time without church! Then Trey comes into the picture. His smooth words and long lashes soon make her question what she knows is right. Slowly, almost imperceptibly, she inches toward one big mistake that leaves her with lasting consequences.

It is about that time that her mother gives her a book of poetry. Feeling abandoned and alone, Mister gets lost in the story of another Mary.

This Mary has done everything according to Jewish law and eagerly awaits her coming wedding to Joseph, but an angel's visit leaves her confused and struggling with the consequences of the angel's prophecy. She, a virgin, will give birth?

Together both Marys discover the depth of God's love while facing the mysteries of His plans.

WHAT I LIKE: Because it is written in first person, this book feels very intimate, like as a reader you've jumped into Mister's skin. The author did a tremendous job of character development, which is crucial when dealing with a hot topic like teen pregnancy. Raw and realistic, the book shows how easily people can be drawn away from their convictions. Even Christians can slip into dangerous patterns that lead to sin and enormous consequences that upset her entire world. Even without the pregnancy, Mister's choices alienated her from her friends, her church and her family. The book shows the true struggle that comes with teen pregnancy, the difficulty in making life-altering decisions at such a young age.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Anne Wingate on November 1, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003YFJ720/ref=cm_cr_rev_prod_img

This is one of the most beautiful poems I ever read, and I have a Ph.D. in English. Combining the thoughts of the pregnant fifteen-year-old with the poem she is reading about Mary being pregnant with Jesus, looking at her as her neighbors might have seen her, pregnant before marriage, obviously too far along for how long she has been married, while Mister, unmarried while the guy who impregnated her tries it on with other girls, lives with the same stares and whispers today, is a magnificent juxtaposition that works perfectly.

If the rest of the book this came from is this good, it certainly ought to win some major awards. In the meantime, I suggest that ALL young women old enough to become pregnant read it. Yes, it's partly a matter of age as one critic suggested, but the fact is that if a girl is old enough to become pregnant, she might. If she reads this book, she might be a little less likely to make the bad decision Mister made, and might manage to spot the selfish male a little sooner.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Janice Sims VINE VOICE on August 30, 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This book was published by Zondervan, and if I'm not mistaken, they publish books targeted to a Christian audience. Therefore this book will speak to young people who are going through normal changes that teens tend to at their age: Namely, should I have sex or should I not? Are you familiar with the gospel duo, Mary, Mary! Probably because this book depicts the lives of two young women named Mary their music was playing in my head while I read it. A Girl Named Mister was written in first-person and in the form of poetry. 15 year-old Mary Rudine, called Mister, a church-going girl raised by a single mother, meets Trey who makes her forget her upbringing. It's happened to the best of us! Soon she is doing things she'd promised God she would wait to do until after marriage. When she finds herself expecting a child, and abandoned by Trey who said he loved her, she tries to hide her predicament as long as she can. With a tortured soul she turns to a book about Mary the mother of Jesus. Written in first-person the book recounts Mary's experiences, including being visited by the angel Gabriel and told she would become the mother of the Messiah. As Mister reads the book she is encouraged by Mary's strength and her faith in God. There are parallels drawn between Mary Rudine and Mary the mother of Jesus. Both were subject to being social outcasts when their condition was discovered. And ultimately both had to be strong and rely on their faith to get them through. A Girl Named Mister might be good for young adults to read to learn the consequences of not knowing when to say 'NO!'.
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