Preacher's Boy by Katherine Paterson

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It's 1899 in a small town in Vermont, and the turn of the century is coming fast. According to certain members of the church where Robbie's father is the preacher, the end of the century might even mean the end of the world. But Robbie has more pressing worries. He's sure his father loves his simple-minded brother, Elliot, better than him, and he can no longer endure the tiresome restrictions of Christianity. He decides to leave the fold and become an "apeist" and, just in case the church whisperers are right, resolves to live life to the fullest. His high-spirited and often hot-headed behavior does nothing to improve his father's opinion of him, nor does it improve the congregation's flagging opinion of his father. Not until the consequences of his actions hurt others does Robbie put a stop to the snowballing chain of events he has set off and begin to realize his father might love him despite his wayward tendencies.

Katherine Paterson is the recipient of the 2013 Laura Ingalls Wilder Award.


About Katherine Paterson

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Katherine Paterson was born in China, where she spent part of her childhood. After her education in China and the American South, she spent four years in Japan, the setting for her first three novels. Ms. Paterson has received numerous awards for her writing, including National Book Awards for The Master Puppeteer and The Great Gilly Hopkins, as well as Newbery Medals for Jacob Have I Loved and Bridge to Terabithia. Ms. Paterson lives with her husband in Vermont. They have four grown children.
Published August 23, 1999 by Clarion Books. 176 pages
Genres: Travel, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction, History. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Paterson (Celia and the Sweet, Sweet Water, 1998, etc.) rings out the 20th century with this ruminative tale of a 10-year-old freethinker, set in a small Vermont town at the very end of the 19th century.

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Publishers Weekly

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Others, like Robbie's father, a minister with progressive ideas, thinks ""the world's at a sort of beginning."" Robbie does not know what to believe.

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His world seems so messed up, in fact, that Robbie decides to renounce his father and the Church, and no longer be a faithful Congregationalist.

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