Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

The Calling

The Calling

Fall 2001 Fiction
Ages: 10 - 16 yrs.
Author: Cathryn Clinton
Publisher: Candlewick Press
ISBN: 0763613878
Hardcover Price: $15.99
At the Beulah Land Healing and Holiness Church in Beulah Land, South Carolina in the summer of 1962, Esther Lea Ridley, called "Esta Lea," receives "The Calling"; that is, she is called to be a healer. The gift first manifests itself when she feels compelled to touch her nana's ear to cure her of earache and also cures her deafness. Although her deeply religious family is astonished, they were not as astonished as you and I would have been.

Esta Lea welcomes her gift without becoming at all impressed with herself, and she is singularly unimpressed with the claim of her prodigal uncle, Peter Earl, that the event saved him -- especially when he begins taking her around in his golden Cadillac to perform at healing services for money.

With perfect pitch and no patronization of the poor southerners' mores and language, author Cathryn Clinton has written a unique and funny story, totally original. The author's first foray into children's literature, this is a doubly stunning achievement.

Kemie Nix   ©2001 Parents' Choice
Kemie Nix is Chairman of Children's Literature for Children (CLC), a non-profit, tax-exempt, educational organization dedicated to bringing children and books together. Mrs. Nix, a senior book editor for Parents' Choice, has a remarkable sense of selecting books children love to read.

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