bumped by megan mccafferty

All I can say is WOW!  Not your typical novel.  It is both entertaining and thought provoking at the same time.  What if teen pregnancy was a plus instead of a problem?  What if the only people that could reproduce were teens?  Those are the questions explored by this babies-having-babies novel.

Theology: Exploring God and faith

One of the reasons that I picked up this book was to see what it had to say about religion and the church.  From the book cover “Harmony has spent her whole life in Good-side, a religious community, preparing to be a wife and mother.  She believes her calling is to convince Melody [her worldly twin] that pregging for profit is a sin.” – This was too tempted a plot for me to miss.  What I found was a great exploration on evangelism — why “in your face” evangelism doesn’t really work.  There are several other characters in the novel besides Harmony, that also “have God.”  Some feel they are called to do some very un-Christlike things.  So what does it mean to have faith?  How do you live it out?  And how can you tell if someone really “has God”?  And most importantly, what does it mean to have a real relationship with God?

The great thing about this novel, in terms of its religious views, is that it encourages our teens to question what they believe.  Does what you were taught growing up really make sense?  If the religion you are following expects blind obedience, then you need to do some searching.  God does not expect us to follow blindly.

“And the people of Berea were more open-minded than those in Thessalonica, and they listened eagerly to Paul’s message. They searched the Scriptures day after day to see if Paul and Silas were teaching the truth. As a result, many Jews believed, as did many of the prominent Greek women and men.” – Acts 17:11-12 (NLT)

Have you searched the Scriptures (Bible) for yourself to see what it has to say?

Maturity: PG-13

This probably goes without saying, but this is a book about teen pregnancy.  It is handled well, but there are a lot of teens having premarital sex.  Some for money (which seems a lot like prostitution), some for fun, and some because its a cool thing to do.  Even the so-called church group are marrying off their kids early so they can make more kids (Mormonish).  Of course, it is all done in the name of preservation of the species.  If teens don’t procreate, and adults can’t, humans are going to go extinct.

This is a great opportunity to read a book with your teens and talk about sex issues.  Who is having it?  Why?  Is sex before marriage really as great as some make it out to seem?  What are the benefits of abstinence?

Social Issues:

Teen pregnancy (duh).  But also,

  • The role of government and its control on our bodies.
  • The expectations (sometimes very ungodly) of parents.
  • The exploitation of teens (think legitimized sex trafficking).
  • The pressure to conform. Is what’s popular in your culture really what is right for you?

Once again, this is NOT a Christian novel.  It should be read as a point of discussion.  Make the most of every opportunity.

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