written by Nikki Grimes
Zondervan, August 2010
young adult novel
Buy this book:
A Girl Named Mister
About the Book
Mary Rudine, called Mister by almost everyone, has attended church and sung in the choir for as long as she can remember. But then she meets Trey. His long lashes and smooth words make her question what she knows is right, and one mistake leaves her hiding a growing secret.
Mary is excited about her upcoming wedding, and has done everything according to Jewish law. So when an angel appears one night and tells her — a virgin — she’ll give birth, Mary can’t help but feel confused, and soon finds herself struggling with the greatest blessing the world will ever know.
Feeling abandoned, Mister is drawn to Mary’s story, and together both young women discover the depth of God’s love and the mysteries of his divine plan.
Mary Rudine, known to everyone as Mister, is a typical high-school student, engaged in studies, sports and church. Everything changes when she gives into sexual pressure from a new boy in her life. When she resists continuing a physical relationship, Trey breaks up with her, and Mister works to get back to an emotional even keel. One source of solace is a book of poems in the voice of the Virgin Mary. As she returns to normal, she is rocked with the realization that she is pregnant … This novel in poetry looks clearly at both teen pregnancy and struggles with faith. Mister is exceptionally well characterized … The language is intimate and immediate. (Kirkus Reviews)
Fourteen-year-old Mary Rudine, nicknamed M. R. and then just Mister, wears a promise ring, a symbol of her commitment to God and decision to wait for true love before she has sex. But in one brief moment, gorgeous smooth-talking Trey, with his gentle, seductive hands, weakens her resolve, and she gets pregnant. In terrified denial, she picks up a book about the Virgin Mary, which details a similar struggle with her fate and her faith. In alternating, free-verse narratives, Grimes parallels the stories of both Marys — their joy and terror as they carry a child, the support they accept from those who love them, and above all, their struggle to trust in God’s will for their lives. With each carefully chosen word, each well-crafted image, the familiar teen pregnancy story is made unique by its faith-based undertones, dual perspectives, and lyrical language. (Frances Bradburn, Booklist)