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Agnes and Honey have always been best friends, but they haven't always been so different. Agnes loves being a Believer. She knows the rules at the Mount Blessing religious commune are there to make her a better person. Honey hates Mount Blessing and the control Emmanuel, their leader, has over her life. The only bright spot is the butterfly garden she's helping to build, and the journal of butterflies that she keeps. When Agnes's grandmother makes an unexpected visit to the commune, she discovers a violent secret that the Believers are desperate to keep quiet. And when Agnes's little brother is seriously injured and Emmanuel refuses to send him to a hospital, Nana Pete takes the three children and escapes the commune. Their journey begins an exploration of faith, friendship, religion and family for the two girls, as Agnes clings to her familiar faith while Honey desperately wants a new future.
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Cecilia Galante grew up in a religious commune in upstate New York until the age of 15. She is currently a high school English teacher, and lives with her husband and three children in Kingston, PA.From School Library Journal:
Grade 6–9—Honey and Agnes are 14-year-old best friends growing up in the Mount Blessing religious commune near Fairfield, CT, but are polar opposites in their adherence to the "Four Big Rules" that govern daily life. Honey, abandoned at the commune as a newborn, is a perpetual rebel, having most recently been sent to the Regulation Room for kissing a boy. There, the group's founder/leader, the charismatic Emmanuel, metes out punishments. Agnes is a self-described "saint wannabe." She starves herself, sleeps on stones, and wears a cord tightly belted under her robe as reminders of the suffering endured by the saints. The girls share a love for Nana Pete, Agnes's father's mother, and live for her annual summer visits. When Nana discovers the physical and emotional abuse imposed on the children, she resolves to spirit them away. Honey is a willing runaway, but Agnes is reluctant. The kids' new reality includes "firsts" such as visits to McDonald's and Wal-Mart. Their route ends in Georgia, at the home of Agnes's estranged aunt. In the realistic and emotionally charged climax, family ties are revealed and, thanks to Honey's forethought and Agnes's new understanding that the truth can set you free, the cult is soon busted, police lights flashing. If both girls occasionally seem wise beyond their years, readers will nevertheless cheer them on as they ponder the limits of faith and duty.—Joel Shoemaker, Southeast Junior High School, Iowa City, IA
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Book Description Bloomsbury USA 2009-10-27, 2009. Paperback. Condition: New. Paperback. Publisher overstock, may contain remainder mark on edge. Seller Inventory # 9781599903774B
Book Description Bloomsbury USA Childrens, 2009. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M1599903776