The Pathway Collection #1: Maggie Come Lately
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Number of Pages: 320
Publication Date: 2007
Dimensions: 8.25 X 5.50 (inches)
Availability: Expected to ship on or about 12/26/15.
Series: Pathway Collection
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Maggie isnt exactly popular. In fact, shes pretty much invisible. While most girls are going to parties with boyfriends, shes busy acting as mother and housewife to her two brothers and father. But what she really wants is to be noticed by her brothers friend Webb. Unfortunately, hes dating the schools hottest cheerleader. When her sixteenth birthday comes along, Maggie makes a wish: Please, Lord, let sixteen be a great year; let me be pretty and popular and let Webb . . . its too big a dream to even put the rest into words. Then she hears a noise in the woods that she cant ignore and takes a path that changes her life forever.
I remembered Lee Smiths remark soon after I began reading Michelle Buckmans excellent new novel, Maggie Come Lately. How well it dramatizes the predicament of young Maggie McCarthy. We are present at that moment when she was four years old and her entire life shifted. We meet her later in present time - a perfect daughter, a perfect substitute mother to her siblings, a perfect student, and a perfect friend. There is only one problem. Influenced by to the pressure of society, submitting to the circumstance of her position in the family, responding to every demand made upon her to conform to what is expected of her, Maggie has neglected to become her true self.
That voyage of self-discovery begins on her sixteenth birthday when she first assumes the role of surrogate mother to her orphaned siblings, of willing housekeeper to her widower father, of compliant friend to her schoolmates.
Under Mrs. Buckmans skilled hand we live through Maggies longing for someone to love her and her eventual discovery of that love. We share her dismay when her father courts a totally inappropriate second wife, and we experience along with Maggies her deep concern when a younger brother begins to retreat from life.
A shocking event early on, the murder of one of her classmates, shadows the action and the fabric of the book.
The suspense is intense for a work primarily intended for youthful readers, but the author knows what she is doing and the reader is compelled to keep reading until the surprising climax.
While this book is directed toward a younger readership it can also prompt each of us to reflect on who we are and how we got that way. As Lee Smith asks, Are we someone elses idea of who we ought to be, or are we our true selves? - Earl Hamner (Creator of The Waltons and Falcon Crest, author of Spencers Mountain and The Homecoming)
It was amazing. I loved it! Despite everything that's going on, I had time to read another amazing book by Michelle Buckman. With Maggie Come Lately, I was completely drawn in by her characters and real-life issues that she tackled in the story. In her second book, My Beautiful Disaster, she drew me in even more with her compelling story about Maggie's best friend-turned-sister, Dixie. In Dixie's story, she goes through love, loss, fear, and redemption. I can honestly say that I felt Dixies emotions when I read her words. I felt my chest puff up with pride as if I knew her myself. I felt connected. I could not put the book down for three days straight. You want a good read? You're looking at it." - Jordin Sparks, American Idol winner 2007
Michelle SuttonArizonaAge: 45-54Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5April 14, 2009Michelle SuttonArizonaAge: 45-54Gender: femaleWhenever I read a book that contains any form of abuse--without meaning to--I remove my reader hat and slip on my professional one. I love it when an author gets the facts right. On the other hand, it irritates me to no end when the author gets something clearly wrong. In Maggie Come Lately, Michelle Buckman got all of her facts right. The tension is very well done and the conflict develops at just the right pace. The title even fits the story. It's hard to say why it fits without giving any spoilers so I will dance around the facts a bit and say this-- more than once I wanted to shake Maggie and say, "It's right under your nose." But on the other hand, she was well-portrayed because most people don't see abuse that is right under their noses either. The character Maggie, was a likable character with realistic issues. I know, because my childhood was a lot like Maggie's. I had to do a lot of things in our home that my mother couldn't because she was bedridden with MS. I remember feeling like Maggie did, like I was responsible for so much stuff that I missed most of my childhood. So that struck a real chord in me. The author also did an amazing job at showing how boy/girl relationships should be based on mutual interests, and not just related to kissing, attraction, popularity, etc.
Jill WilliamsonOregonAge: 25-34Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5October 13, 2008Jill WilliamsonOregonAge: 25-34Gender: femaleMaggie Come Lately, by Michelle Buckman, is a poignant story about a young girl searching for herself. All her life Maggie has taken care of her father, two younger brothers, the housework, and the cooking. She isnt popular at school, has a crush on a boy who barely knows shes alive, and her father has a new girlfriend. Maggie flees to her forest sanctuary to get away from it all and stumbles onto a girl whos been attacked. She calls 911 and does her best to help the girl.When she goes to school, shes become an overnight celebrity hero. Maggie loves the attention shes getting, but not the reason. Why are people so obsessed with someone elses tragedy? Her dads new girlfriend starts spending more and more time at their house, rearranging the furniture and painting the walls. Maggie feels like shes losing her place, her brothers dont care, and shes got no one she can go to for help. A Christy Award finalist, this novel draws the reader into a compelling story with real-life issues. I was amazed how wonderfully Michelle Buckman wove characters and plot to write about such a serious topic without being preachy. Maggie is a real girl with real problems. Readers will identify with her struggles and hopefully admire the way Maggie pulls it all together to discover who she really is. Highly recommended.
Deborah5 Stars Out Of 5February 26, 2008DeborahThis was an extremely powerful and moving story. The whole book you can completely relate to Maggie and feel for her. The opening scene is shocking with Maggie as a young child witnessing her mother's suicide and the effect it has on her for the rest of her life. I think a lot of girls will be able to relate to Maggie about not being popular and being on the outside looking in. And there will be also many who have to deal with parents dating and remarrying and the adjustments that come with that. The scenes where Maggie deals with having a taste of the in crowd, drinking and being with the popular guys are scenes that are all too familiar in high schools. The author obviously knows the way teens think and act. There are serious topics discussed in the book. The scenes of the rape are harsh and graphic but teens need to read about this to know how to protect themselves. You feel the pain and the fear for both Maggie and the girl who was raped. The same goes for the idea of a sexual predator in the church. It's sad and scary that this happens even in a Christian community and it shows that you have to be careful of who you trust. I woulddefinitely recommend this for older teens. Due to the mature content younger teens might not be ready for this but older teens should read this book. This book is comparable to Melody Carlson's books as a way to get teens to read. HIGHLY recommended.
Marv Karg4 Stars Out Of 5January 19, 2008Marv KargThis is a good book. My daughter liked it alot. It has great spiritual lesson in it. This is a book worth reading!
M5 Stars Out Of 5January 9, 2008MGreat book, similar to Melody Carlson. I already ordered the newest one in the series.
Located in: South Carolina
Submitted: November 30, 2007
Tell us a little about yourself. Although born in New York, I've lived most of my life in the south and love adding that southern flavor to my stories.
What was your motivation behind this project? As a mother of four teenagers (and a baby), I wanted to create a story that offered girls respite from the typical secular stories that insinuate premarital relationships as being the norm. Maggie's struggle to become popular force her to face this issue and incorporate her faith and beliefs in to her decision.
What do you hope folks will gain from this project? A realistic view of a teen facing a contemporary relationship and weighing it against her faith. Sharing Maggie's journey will help other girls see how they can stand up for their beliefs.
How were you personally impacted by working on this project? The night the proposal was due to be turned in, I had to attend a workshop at our church in order to become a volunteer working with youth. The workshop included a segment on how to spot child molesters as well as personal accounts of two child molesters on video telling how they convinced youth to give in to them. When I learned that 1:4 girls in the States today are molested (by coaches, teachers, and church workers), I knew God was nudging me to include that info in the story--not graphically, but just enough to reach out to children and teens who found themselves in such a situation. It's staggering to think of looking around a classroom at school or church and imagine that many children being abused without recourse, or afraid to tell an adult. After the meeting, I revised the story outline.
Who are your influences, sources of inspiration or favorite authors / artists? My faith is my biggest influence, and I pray nightly that God guides in me in what I write. In terms of authors, my favorite is Anne Tyler.
Anything else you'd like readers / listeners to know: I'm very excited to announce that Jordin Sparks, American Idol 2007, endorsed the Pathway Collection. Jordin is not only a fantastic vocalist, she is a Christian teen who stands for purity and abstinence. She is also pro-life, which is why book two, My Beautiful Disaster, appealed to her. I couldn't have a more appropriate celebrity endorsement. Older folks may be interested to hear that Earl Hamner, creator of The Waltons, ("John-boy"), and author of Spencer's Mountain and The Homecoming, has also reviewed the book. They can read his review on my website.
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