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Coaltown Jesus by [Koertge, Ron]

Coaltown Jesus Kindle Edition

4.0 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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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

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

Product details

  • File Size: 2807 KB
  • Print Length: 129 pages
  • Publisher: Candlewick Press (March 10, 2015)
  • Publication Date: March 10, 2015
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00TRDCCKC
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,451,624 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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February 14, 2014
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