"If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales." Albert Einstein

24 June 2011

A Good Courage

Tolan, Stephanie. A Good Courage. New York: William and Morrow, 1988.

Ty's mom was always looking for love and happiness.  She had moved their two-member family to communes and groups all over the place.  Ty was used to the routine.  Mom would find a new emotional/philosophical "fix" but would soon see reason, and once again they would be on the road.  But what if Mom decided not to leave?

Mom and Ty join the Kingdom, a small cult-like group that renames people as they enter and separates parents from their children.  While Ty's mom is worshipping and studying with the other adult women, Ty is left to work with the children.  Children who disobey are chained to a tree for the night or are denied food for a day.  Ty has decided that this is dangerous and abusive, and he is determined to leave.  But his mom is still in love with Kingdom life.  How will he be able to escape?

It's been a long time since I've been genuinely surprised by a book, but the twist of this plot threw me for a loop.  I enjoyed this story as much as I've enjoyed other stories of kids escaping strict religious societies, but I was pleasantly surprised by the changes at the end of the story.

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