Shades of Truth by Naomi Kinsman is a great story for any girl, but especially those between 10 and 16 years of age. Sadie Douglas, formerly of California, has just made the move all the way across the country to Michigan because of her mother's failing health. She learns quickly that the two states could not be more different.
Sadie is a normal 12-year-old girl. She loves her West Coast friends, and misses them dearly. Her mother has a severe sleeping disorder, so in order to help her heal, her family has moved from a big city in California to the tiny town of Owl Creek, Michigan. Her Dad has been given a job as a mediator among the local bear hunters, local bear watchers and preservationists, and representatives from the Department of Natural Resources; this puts him at odds with most of the community who view him as a threat. Very quickly, their hatred travels from him to Sadie. She is trying to make new friends at school, but, at least at first, everyone deems her trouble and wants nothing to do with her. Eventually, Sadie begins to make friends, only to find out that some of them have been lying to her. Not knowing what to believe, Sadie finds herself turning to God.
The author does a terrific job of bringing God into the picture in a way that is easy to understand and that shows teen girls what a relationship with God can really be like -- not a scary, abstract thing. Sadie learns to follow the command in Psalm 55:22, “Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall.” Through her growth in Christ, Sadie is able to handle the problems that her father’s new job is causing her family. The structure of her family, and its problems, are slightly exaggerated, but can still be taken as realistic.
This is the kind of book teen girls can read, recommend to or pass along to friends, and spend time talking about. – Claire Hadley, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com
It's Going to Be a Bear of a Year Sadie thought she'd have a perfect fresh start when she moved to Owl Creek, Michigan, but finding her place in her new school proves harder than she expected. In this divided town, Sadie's father's job mediating between bear hunters and researchers doesn't help her social life. Sadie's art instructor encourages her to explore her beliefs and express herself through her sketchbook, and things improve after Sadie befriends a kind girl from school and a researcher's son---but she can't stop worrying about the bears. As everything swirls around her, Sadie must learn what it means to have faith when you don't have all the answers.