So what do you do when your biology field trip takes a little detour--to heaven? If you're David James, the class clown, you demand an audience with God and challenge him to a debate. The prize? A ticket back to life. But David doesn't have a clue how a debate actually works, and so he teams up with Marie, a nerdy classmate who happens to be president of the Speech and Debate Club. Their efforts seem thwarted at every step, but David sticks it out with Marie and wonders, Will a goof-off have what it takes to beat God? ·A wildly funny and action-packed debut novel ·A contemporary novel with an odd assortment of characters in an even odder setting--heaven.
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MARY E. PEARSON received her bachelor's degree from Long Beach State University and her teaching credential from San Diego State University. She lives in San Diego, California.From School Library Journal:
Grade 7 Up-David is in a van full of self-described goof-offs (and one female nerd, Marie) on a field trip that takes a sudden turn to disaster and kills them all. Well, almost kills them all, as he and Marie realize that they aren't ready to die. The cheeky teen, informed during their bus ride to heaven that he cannot talk to God, boldly challenges Him to a debate. As president of the Crestview High Speech and Debate Club, Marie decides to help her classmate prepare his arguments, but they consistently run into dead ends, including a funny bit for librarians about using the heavenly library's computer catalog. Omniscient God offers to help, but is refused. David initially avoids perusing God's journals (Genesis, Romans, Revelation) but finally reads enough to be inspired by the story of Jacob wrestling God. At the debate, the ill-prepared mortal attempts a filibuster, but eventually concedes that he really wants to live because he is not ready to give up on other people or on himself. The book is suffused with a gentle humor, from God showing himself to be a great surfer to the hot band made up of Jimi, Janis, and John that David's pals go to hear, and teens may come away from it with a different attitude about the Big Kahuna. Don't look for well-developed characters or a fully realized setting, but this novella presents a humane and loving take on God. No leap of faith is required to enjoy this easy-to-read, fast-paced contemporary parable.
Joel Shoemaker, Southeast Junior High School, Iowa City, IA
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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