Ten-year-old Mary Mae loves to sing hymns with her Granny, go to Sunday School, and learn about trilobites. She has lots of questions about how the earth looked millions of years ago. Trouble is, Mary Mae's mother thinks it's wrong to believe the world is that old. Mama believes God created it six thousand years ago and she believes that nobody should teach Mary Mae otherwise. When Mary Mae starts taking her questions to church, asking how God created the earth in six days or how eight people could take care of animals on an ark, Mama puts her foot down: homeschooling. Mary Mae must decide where her loyalties lie: with science and Miss Sizemore, with God and Mama, or somewhere in the middle.
When I first received this one for review I was bit hesitant to pick it up, I have to admit. Though, recently I finally did give it a chance, and let me tell you I'm so glad I did, because Mary Mae and the Gospel Truth is a cute book about standing up for your beliefs no matter what.
Mary Mae and the Gospel Truth tells the story of Mary Mae, a curious and sweet girl ten-year-old who has a love of learning, signing church hymns with her grandmother, and attending her Sunday school class with her friends. But her world is suddenly turned upside down when Mary Mae's very religious mother disagrees with what her daughter is learning in class, leaving her to have only one choice, well at least in her mind: homeschooling. As you can probably imagine Mary Mae is disgruntled at the thought of not only spending all day at home without her friends but at the fact of not being allowed to learn about her favorite subject, science. So now it's up to Mary Mae to stand up for what she believes in and convince her family that learning about science and fossils is okay.
Mary Mae was such a sweet girl; I loved the fact that never ceased to stand up for what she believed in, as well as her love of learning. It was always a lot of fun to see her go through her daily live, stirring up trouble because of what she believed in. I also thought Sandra Dutton did a great job of creating Mary Mae's character because she was exactly like any ten year-old I've seen. Another favorite character of mine would have to Mary Mae's granny. She was funny and I loved the fact that she always supported Mary Mae's discoveries.
The plot of this moved in a rapid speed and never failed to be interesting, which allowed me to finish this book in one quick sitting. I also enjoyed the questions it placed in my mind about religion and whether or not parents should get such a big say in their children's learning; it definitely was an interesting premise.
Though, the one thing that kind of appalled me was the fact that Dutton choose to use bad grammar to tell Mary Mae's story in. I understand that Mary Mae is a ten year-old and tends to talk that way because she probably doesn’t have a through understanding of grammar, but I just thought it set such a bad precedent of speaking for the middle-grade set who will be picking this book up.
Regardless, Mary Mae and the Gospel Truth is a sweet and easy-going book that I enjoyed.
Mary Mae and the Gospel Truth is now out!
Source: Publisher. Thanks, Houghton Mifflin!