Name of Book: Someday
Author: Jackie Koller
Audience: Ages 12+
Summary: It is 1939. Celie is 14 years old has lots to worry about. She is about to lose her home, which has been in her family since the 1700′s, to the flooding of Swift River. The river is being flooded to form a reservoir which will supply water for Boston. As if that were not bad enough, her grandmother refuses to move, saying she will die with the town and her mother is actually looking forward to starting a new life. It is all too much for Celie. Will she ever be happy again?
Literary elements at work in the story: Complex, finely drawn characters and fluid language that rings true for the period and place, make this coming-of-age story perfect for young people who are transitioning from childhood to adulthood.
How does the perspective on gender/race/culture/economics/ability make a difference to the story: Based on first hand records, this story accurately shows the trauma caused to the families and land caught in this situation. An afterwords shows the environmental and social issues raised by this event.
Scripture: Luke 24: 36b-48
Theology: Disbelief and disappointment are common to us all. The people in Celie’s town had been hearing for so many years that the town would be flooded, that when they finally did get the notice, they didn’t believe it. In this passage, the disciples, like Celie, had been told what was going to happen, “someday” but they didn’t believe it. Then, when “someday” comes they are just as confused and afraid as Celie. However, Jesus calms their fears and opens their eyes and they are once again joyful. Knowing joy, as great and healing as it may be, was not enough. Jesus says they must spread that joy by preaching in His name and witnessing to others. The joy must be passed on. Celie comes to see this as well. She sees that someday can refer to a beginning as well as an ending. In the end she finds, not bitterness and resentment in the leaving, but joy in beginning a new life. Many of the people that lived, hoped and feared in the Swift Rriver valley passed on their story, allowing us to see and feel their experience. We also must pass on our stories of hope and joy to those around us today and those that will come after us. If the disciples had not passed on the joy of Christ where would we all be today. Don’t let your disappointments in life get in the way of living in Christ’s joy and passing that joy on to others.
Faith Talk Questions::
- You get a letter in the mail saying that you must leave your home. Not only that but your town will be dismantled piece by piece and all the world around you will be destroyed. Your favorite tree, the park you play in, everything. How do you feel? How do you cope?
- How do you find joy in tough situations?
- Jesus opened the disciples eyes, but they had to be willing to allow that to happen. How can we keep our eyes and hearts ready and open?
- How were Celie’s eyes finally opened? How did she find joy?
- The disciples were told to go and tell His story. How can you tell your story? How does Christ fit into your story?
Review prepared by guest blogger Janet Lloyd. Her review of Letting Swift River Go, a book written for younger children about the same event, will be reviewed on Wednesday.
Filed under: Book Reviews, Books written for Grades 5-8 (Ages 10 -13), Books written for Grades 9 - 12 (Ages 14-17), Faith Questions For...., High School Students, Historical Fiction, Middle Schoolers Tagged: | beginnings, Change, disappointment, endings, joy, United States history