Asylum for Nightface (Laura Geringer Books)

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( 38 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9780064472142: Asylum for Nightface (Laura Geringer Books)

From two-time Newbery Honor Award-winning author Bruce Brooks comes this profound and thought-provoking novel of one boy's exploration of religion and love, faith and rebellion. Fourteen-year-old Zimmerman feels misunderstood by friends and family alike--and the pressure to take a stand is building. Navigating a world charged with religious fervor, he struggles to find refuge within his own beliefs. In this multilayered, absorbing story, Brooks delves into the intense world of religion and examines what happens when faith is challenged.

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About the Author:

Bruce Brooks is a two-time Newbery Honor recipient, in 1985 for The Moves Make the Man, and in 1993 for What Hearts. He has won many other awards and honors, not least of which was being a spazzy assistant coach for his son's travel hockey team. He lives in Burtonsville, Maryland.

From Kirkus Reviews:

Brooks (Boys Will Be, 1993, etc.), at his most cerebral, introduces a moral puzzle in this tale of a teenager being pressured into public sainthood by his parents. With his strong faith and consuming interest in matters of the spirit, Zimmerman has become somewhat alien to his loving but agnostic parents--pot-smoking, successful professionals who occasionally throw out doubts or temptations just to see if he'll waver. He doesn't, until they come back from a vacation converted to a beach sect billed ``The Faith of Faiths'' by its charismatic founder, Luke Mark John. Suddenly, Zim is idolized, treated with dewy awe by his mother and father, who eventually let slip the news that Luke Mark John wants Zim to be ``poster boy for the Faith of Faiths,'' to lure younger members into the sect. Zim, who has shied away from organized religion to follow a solitary path, looks upon his parents' zeal with a dubious eye, meanwhile delivering keenly intelligent observations on a variety of subjects, from Jesus (``tough, compulsive, brash . . . intense to the point of being frightening, and definitely, definitely, tired'') to the dangers of accepting any opinions, even Holy Writ, uncritically. He is at last driven, rather than led, into temptation; in a desperate effort to save himself from the fate his parents have planned for him, he tries for a jail sentence, or at least some tarnish on his spotless reputation, by stealing a rare trading card. Every character here except the protagonist is a caricature, every twist of the story thoroughly laced with irony. While Brooks exhibits, as usual, that he is a born storyteller with a flair for imaginative detailing, plot takes a backseat to theme in this satiric, intellectual exercise. (Fiction. 10+) -- Copyright 1996, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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