Friday, April 18, 2008
Maggie Come Lately
Fellow Catholic writer Michelle Buckman wrote to spread word of her "Pathway Series" - issue-focused Christian fiction for teens. Her work has been getting some rave reviews from such notables as American Idol 2007 winner Jordin Sparks and Walton's creator Earl Hammer. I've posted their reviews of "Maggie Come Lately" after Michelle's information.
I have a Christian teen series called The Pathway Collection.
Book one, Maggie Come Lately (The Pathway Collection #1), is wrapped around abstinence and the warning
signs of molestation, and what to do if someone at church or school tries to
molest you. I wrote it after attending the Virtus seminar required for all
church volunteers & employees.
Book two, My Beautiful Disaster (The Pathway Collection #2), is about Maggie's best friend who ignores
all of Maggie's advice and ends up pregnant. It's a very pro-life book as it
carries the girl through all the societal pressures from boyfriend, peers,
and parents with differing points of view on what she should do. In the end,
it's a bible-toting bag lady who inadvertently answer's Dixie's prayers.
The response from teens and adults has been fantastic. Many have written to
say how much these books affected them and made them think through these
issues from different perspectives, putting themselves in other people's
shoes. One mother told me My Beautiful Disaster should be placed in every
high school and Pregnancy Center in the States. (Oh, wouldn't that be
something.) Another woman called the publisher and ordered enough copies of
Maggie Come Lately to hand out to an entire abused girls' home.
Several teens have emailed me to say they are using these books in their
youth groups. A *public* school actually ordered copies as required reading!
If a church or school is interested in purchasing copies for a classroom,
there is a discount. There is also a deep discount for non-profit
Feel free to contact me for more info: Michelle@MichelleBuckman.com
"Despite everything that's going on, I had time to read another amazing book by Michelle Buckman. With Maggie Come Lately, I was completely drawn in by her characters and real life issues that she tackled in the story. In her second book, My Beautiful Disaster, she drew me in even more with her compelling story about Maggie's best friend-turned-sister, Dixie. In Dixie's story, she goes through love, loss, fear, and redemption. I can honestly say that I felt her emotions when I read her words. I felt my chest puff up with pride as if I knew her myself. I felt connected.
I could not put the book down for three days straight.
You want a good read? You're looking at it."
- Jordin Sparks, American Idol 2007
Review by Earl Hamner
Creator of The Waltons and Falcon Crest, author of Spencers Mountain and The Homecoming
That wise and wonderful Southern writer, Lee Smith, once observed, “I was at a point in my life where all my friends, women I had grown up with, were suddenly floundering, because we were following someone else’s idea of who we ought to be and what we ought to do.”
I remembered Lee Smith’s remark soon after I began reading Michelle Buckman’s excellent new novel, “Maggie Come Lately.” How well it dramatizes the predicament of young Maggie McCarthy. We are present at that moment when she was four years old and her entire life shifted. We meet her later in present time - a perfect daughter, a perfect substitute mother to her siblings, a perfect student, and a perfect friend. There is only one problem. Influenced by to the pressure of society, submitting to the circumstance of her position in the family, responding to every demand made upon her to conform to what is expected of her, Maggie has neglected to become her true self.
That voyage of self-discovery begins on her sixteenth birthday when she first assumes the role of surrogate mother to her orphaned siblings, of willing housekeeper to her widower father, of compliant friend to her schoolmates. Under Mrs. Buckman’s skilled hand we live through Maggie’s longing for someone to love her and her eventual discovery of that love. We share her dismay when her father courts a totally inappropriate second wife, and we experience along with Maggie’s her deep concern when a younger brother begins to retreat from life.
A shocking event early on, the murder of one of her classmates, shadows the action and the fabric of the book.
The suspense is intense for a work primarily intended for youthful readers, but the author knows what she is doing and the reader is compelled to keep reading until the surprising climax.
While this book is directed toward a younger readership it can also prompt each of us to reflect on who we are and how we got that way. As Lee Smith asks, “Are we someone else’s idea of who we ought to be,” or are we our true selves?