I met author Stephanie Engelman online through the Catholic Writers Guild and discovered that she writes YA just like I do! So, of course, I jumped at the chance to review her book, A Single Bead, when it released earlier this month.
Author: Stephanie Engelman
Genre: contemporary realistic fiction
Age category: YA (but okay for middle grade, too)
Summary: (from Amazon) On the anniversary of the plane crash that took the life of her beloved grandmother and threw her own mother into deep depression, 16-year-old Katelyn Marie Roberts discovers a single bead from her grandmother’s rosary—a rosary lost in the crash. A chance encounter with a stranger, who tells Katelyn that a similar bead saved her friend’s life, launches Katelyn and her family on a quest to find the other missing beads. Their journey, filled with glimmers of hope, mystical events and unexplained grace helps Katelyn understand that faith, family and the help of others can restore what was lost.
I found a lot I could relate to in this book. As many of you know, I lost my mother back in August, and the grandmother in this story reminded me a lot of my mom. And let’s just say I’m really thankful that I didn’t react to my mother’s death the way Katelyn’s mom reacts to her mother’s death.I think young teens who struggle with believing in prayer and maybe even believing in God’s ability to work in their lives will enjoy this book. Katelyn seems to be a pretty typical teen who has some faith but hasn’t gotten to the point of really making it a part of her everyday existence yet. Stephanie does a nice job of balancing out faith-filled characters with those who struggle with their faith.
This could make a great Confirmation present for a teen girl if you’re looking for something a little different to give.
You can follow Stephanie on her blog A Few Beads Short. (Don’t you just love that blog title? Personally, I think I’m more than a few beads short, but that’s another story. 😉 )