Nancy Keane's Booktalks -- Quick and Simple

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Jenkins, Jerry B. and Tim LeHaye
Wheaton, Ill. : Tyndale House, 1998.
IL 5-8
ISBN 0842321934

(2 booktalks)

Booktalk #1

Meet four young teenagers who are each rebelling against their parents in their own way.  Judd is tired of his parents always telling him what to do.  He decides to run away so he can have control over his own life.  Vicki is a tough girl living in the trailer park with her drunken parents.  When they find religion, Vicki can't understand and wants to keep living her life of parties, drinking and hanging out.  Lionel is living a good life in the burbs and enjoys going to church with his family although he doesn't want to tell them that he doesn't really believe all of that stuff.  He'd rather be hanging out with his uncle Andre.  Twelve-year-old Ryan has a pretty good life as an only child.  His best friend has suddenly been trying to get Ryan to go to church.  Ryan's family just don't do that.  Ryan isn't really sure he even believes.  One night changes everything.  Just before midnight, people start disappearing.  Their clothes, jewelry and even their dental fillings are left behind.  It soon becomes clear that the promised Rapture has occurred and that these four teens were left behind.  Their families have been called but not them.  Join them as they try to understand THE VANISHINGS.  This is the first volume in the series Left Behind : The Kids.

Booktalk #2

Judd, Vicki, Lionel and Ryan live in the same general neighborhood and attend some of the same schools, but they’ve never met before. Judd and Lionel have even more in common – both of them are children of Christian families who go to church regularly every Sunday. Families who believe completely in the rapture - that some day Jesus will return to take all of his followers to heaven, and those who believe will disappear right in front of the non-believers. And despite having been raised in such families, both Judd and Lionel do not believe. They haven’t told anyone else, but they haven’t accepted Christ into their hearts.

Vicki lives in a trailer park. Up until recently her parents drank and smoked too much and fought all the time. The family went on and off welfare in between her dad’s many jobs. Then one night at a community dance her parents were saved. Now they don’t drink, and her dad has kept his job – but they still live in a trailer park, and the kids at school still call her trailer trash. Vicki refuses to believe in a greater being who would let her family and her neighbors continue to live in such poverty.

Ryan’s and Raymie live down the street from one another and have been best friends for years. Ryan has always been a little uncomfortable around Raymie’s mother however. She’s really religious – she makes them pray over their food before meals and she talks a lot about God. Ryan doesn’t quite know what to make of her – or of Raymie when he suddenly starts spouting the same rhetoric.

Imagine their distress when the rapture actually does happen. One minute life is going along like usual, and the next millions of people are gone. They leave behind their clothes and shoes, contact lenses, glasses and false teeth. If they’re driving a car, the car suddenly has no driver. If they’re filming a child’s birthday party suddenly most of the guests are gone. Those who are no longer here are at peace – but there’s no such thing for those who, like Judd, Vicki, Lionel and Ryan who are left behind.
(Susan Dunn, Colorado Blue Spruce YA Book Award, 2003)

SUBJECTS:     Rapture (Christian eschatology) -- Fiction.
                        Tribulation (Christian eschatology) -- Fiction.
                        Survival -- Fiction.
                        Christian life -- Fiction.


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