"Keepin It Real by Sandra McLeod Humphrey focuses on 13-year-old Leslie, a middle school student who is facing one of the most traumatizing years of her life. A recent move has transported her to a new town, a new church, and a new school. She joins a teen youth clique called Life Group, which challenges her to assess her spiritual life and social surroundings. As a way of coping with her day to day emotional struggles, Leslie writes letters to God that are a combination of diary entries, theological questions, and psychological self-studies. In the process, God not only reveals to her that He values her as one of His children, but He also allows her to discover that she has special creative talents. As we read her letters we are able to see how the Lord uses friends, life experiences, work projects, and school to mold Leslie into a maturing, young woman of faith.
"This book is epistolary in format, for there is neither outside narration nor third person point of view other than Leslie's letters. The author shows transition and growth in Leslie's life by allowing the letters to evidence evolving maturity, insight and wisdom in Leslie's thinking. Nevertheless, Leslie is just 13, and in sharing her innermost thoughts and most intimate feelings, Humphrey allows us better to understand the insecurities, dreams and challenges of today's youth.
"I, myself, have vivid recollections of being in junior high and worrying about my appearance, about peer pressure, and about relational problems with my parents. This book rings true. I admire how much Leslie grows in her faith in God by the end of the book. Many Christian adults have yet to come to this level of belief and confidence in their Savior.
"This book will be enjoyed by teens ages 13 to 16 (especially girls), but it should also be read by adults who wish to comprehend and empathize with the concerns and needs of modern young people." -- Rachel Foster, Christian Book Previews