Author: Henry, Katie
When nonbeliever Michael transfers to a Catholic school in eleventh grade, he quickly connects with a secret support group intent on exposing the school's hypocrisies one stunt at a time.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: UG
Reading Level: 4.90
Points: 11.0 Quiz: 504404
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 9-12
Reading Level: 4.50
Points: 18.0 Quiz: 75189
School Library Journal (00/06/18)
Booklist (+) (06/01/18)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 06/01/2018 Gr 9 Up—St. Clare's is a home of plaid ties, blazers, and strict Catholic doctrine. When Michael is forced to move again and starts school at St. Clare's, he wonders how he will get by as a confirmed atheist. He is positive that he will have no friends and that absolutely no one in this straitlaced world will understand him. That is, until he meets the member of Heretics Anonymous. Lucy is a true believer and feminist, Avi is Jewish and gay, Max is an original who loves to sport a great cloak, and Eden is the paganist of the group. The heretics spend most of their time being sounding boards for one another, until Michael convinces them that complaining doesn't create change. One stunt at a time brings out issues great and small through the halls of St. Clare's. But will Michael take things too far and put his friendships and all of their futures at risk? A real and honest portrayal of teen socialization leads to an opportunity to discuss and drive activism among teen readers. The characters are by no means perfect. Each one struggles with family and personal issues which are reflected in their interactions with one another and other characters. The story adeptly asks readers to question what they believe and why, without being preachy, judgmental, or dismissive. Humor interlaced with more serious ideas make for an interesting and enjoyable read. VERDICT Highly recommended, especially for teens who are passionate about a cause.—Elizabeth Speer, Weatherford College, TX - Copyright 2018 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 06/01/2018 *Starred Review* Michael is not happy about spending his junior year attending a Catholic high school, but his father’s job entails moving around, and it is the best school in the area. Who, he wonders, is going to be friends with an atheist? But he finds a group, collectively known as Heretics Anonymous, who hang out in a hidden room of the school basement to discuss their dissatisfaction with St. Clare’s. Avi is Jewish, and gay Max is eccentric; Eden practices paganism; and Lucy—well, Lucy, a rebellious Catholic, is just wonderful. In her debut, Henry takes on a lot: a strained father-son relationship, a first romance between Michael and Lucy that’s more tentative than torrid, and a group dynamic that propels the Heretics to take action rather than just gripe. The balls stay in the air quite well, and while a few of the characters, like Max, are never quite developed (or, in the case of super-Catholic Teresa, stereotypical), adults and teens alike get their due. What is most impressive here, however, is Henry’s multifaceted take on religion. Michael isn’t searching; he knows how he feels. Yet his introduction to others who feel differently—in the case of Lucy, passionately differently—opens him up. Come for the arch first-person narrative and puppy love, stay for the examination into belief. - Copyright 2018 Booklist.