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Saving Maddie Hardcover – March 9, 2010


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers (March 9, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385738048
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385738040
  • Product Dimensions: 0.9 x 6 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,779,163 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Joshua and Maddie, both preacher's kids, were best friends when they were younger, until Maddie's father moved the family to Norfolk. Now Maddie's back in town. Her father, having refused to pay her tuition at Brown, has sent her to an aunt's house to straighten up after years of too much boys and booze. Joshua, PK that he is, is sure he can save Maddie, but angry and hostile, she has resolved to stay the way she is. Both the characters and situations are stock. Maddie's father, though unseen, is a one-dimensional bad guy, and Josh's parents could use a little nuance themselves. More interesting are the decisions Josh has to make as desire to become closer to Maddie—in every way—becomes more intense. Similar to Johnson's last offering, My Life as a Rhombus (2008), this also features a troubled young woman and a nice young man, but it's Joshua's confusion about how narrow his path must be that keeps readers turning pages. And the kissing doesn't hurt, either. Grades 10-12. --Ilene Cooper

About the Author

Varian Johnson is the author of the critically acclaimed My Life as a Rhombus. He lives in Austin, Texas.

More About the Author

Varian Johnson is the author of four novels, including THE GREAT GREENE HEIST, a Publishers Weekly Best Summer Book of 2014. His novels for older readers include MY LIFE AS A RHOMBUS, named to the Texas Library Association Tayshas High School Reading List and the New York Public Library "Stuff for the Teen Age" list, and SAVING MADDIE, a Bank Street College of Education Best Children's Book.

Varian was born in Florence, South Carolina, and attended the University of Oklahoma, where he received a BS in Civil Engineering. He later received an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from the Vermont College of Fine Arts. Varian now lives outside of Austin, TX with his family.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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I hope to read more about Maddie and Joshua.
Reading in Color
Watching their interactions and seeing both sides of the story is what this book does best.
A Very Merry Shakespeare
So, if you can handle the religious aspect of this book, I would highly recommend it!
P. Eberhardt

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Reading in Color on March 9, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Saving Maddie does not need to be saved. The book will do well and be enjoyed by many people because there is something in it for everyone.

You may start this novel off thinking it will justify how you feel about 'judgemental, preachy Christians' or you may go into thinking that it will show that 'no one is too bad to be saved and the Christian way is the right way.' You would be wrong on both counts. Once again Mr. Johnson has taken a controversial subject (in My Life As A Rhombus it was abortion) and broken it down. All too often people think issues are only black and white, but there are always gray areas. Mr. Johnson deftly describes those gray areas with absolutely no judgement. His characters make their own decisions, they fall down and they dust themselves off and get back up. Their preconceived notions about religion are challenged and in some cases, verified but not in a way that is expected. Also it asks the question that is it worth saving someone else but losing yourself in the process (and I am also of the opinion that not all people need to be saved, and this book also brought up that point as well which I found quite interesting).

The minor characters never completely disappear, they reappear and we learn enough about them to feel that none of them are one-dimensional (I loved reading about the mom's character development). Joshua is such a great guy, especially because he can be really awkward and you just want to go 'aww'. It's also amusing for me (as a girl) to read about the issues guys deal with, because they do illustrate how confusing we girls can be.
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By L.Davis on December 13, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Joshua Wynn is a preacher's son who tries to live his life by the bible and finds himself caught between the desires of a normal teenage boy and the Christian values he has been taught all his life. He has to keep up the image of the youth president and all around stigma of being the preacher's son. Just when he is finally getting a handle on his desires, his best friend from childhood comes back into town. She is an outcaste from most of the town's congregation because of the way she dressed and her wayward ways. Joshua finds himself still madly in love with her and tries to save her from the downward spiral her life has become, in the process he faces temptation that he has never felt before. He begins to question every thing he was taught growing up and learns that even though it hurts he has to let go of Maddie so she can find her own way in life.

I liked the way Varian Johnson (the author) seemed to understand the teenage mind and how the pressures of being a teenager can be. I was a little disappointed in not knowing what happened to Maddie and Joshua after Joshua wrote his last letter to her. I kept wanting to know weather Maddie found a better life. I was happy to know that the he left the story open to write a sequel if he wanted to.
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Format: Hardcover
Joshua & Maddie are not star-crossed lovers. Rather, these two are the best & truest of friends. They share a different kind of love that goes beyond what anyone thinks about them. As children they spent all their time together in and out of church while their fathers were the ministers preaching the gospel. But when Maddie's father is transferred to another parish, Maddie & Joshua vow to write each other every day to keep in touch. For a while that works until Maddie stops writing back.

Eventually Joshua gives up writing her & begins to move on with his faith by being the pinnacle preacher's son. He leads the youth group, he volunteers at the nursing home & he even abstains from all morally compromising situations. While it makes him an outcast at parties (who really wants to drink alcohol & get frisky with their date with the preacher's kid?) Joshua has settled into a comfortable existence. And just like that Maddie shows up all dark & jaded.

Now Joshua has to decide who he's living his life for & why. There are so many questions & so little time. Events are escalating all over town with pressure from every imaginable direction baring down on Joshua. The only thing he can do is choose, but who & what?

I really enjoyed this book. It was exactly what I was expecting it to be in all the right ways. As a teen I spent a week each summer at a church camp in the mountains of North Carolina. While we were all feeling our way around our faith, there were several campers who were preacher's kids (pk's) that we all looked to for example & spiritual guidance. The second day of my sophomore year one of them said it wasn't easy to be a pk & that they were just as lost as we were.
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Format: Hardcover
Maddie and Joshua were best friends. They understood each other, they were both PK - Preacher's Kids. But then one day Maddie's family moves and they grow apart. Five years later she returns, but she is not the same person. Maddie, now Madeline, has left the church and has quite a reputation as a bad girl. Joshua is determined to bring her back into the church, but finds that Madeline is opening his eyes and make him think about his beliefs.

The story revolves around Josh trying to figure out what happened to Madeline in the five years she was gone that could change her so much. She hates her father and the church, but she won't say why. As Josh tries to get Madeline to open up to him, he finds her opening his mind. Forcing him to think about his beliefs instead of blindly doing what he has been taught his whole life. The two grow close and each of them learns so much more about themselves in the process.

4/5
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