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3.92 of 5 stars 3.92  ·  rating details  ·  457 ratings  ·  47 reviews
From the bestselling and award winning author of Once, Then, and Boy Overboard comes the story of Grace Hillgrove.

In the beginning there was me and Mum and Dad and the twins.

And talk about happy families, we were bountiful.

But it came to pass that I started doing sins.

And lo, that when all our problems began.
Published August 3rd 2009 by Viking
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Jess - The Tales Compendium
Eleven-year-old Grace has been brought up in a very strict religious community where questions and individual thinking are not allowed. This has become a problem for Grace as she is starting to grow up and be curious about life. She is also stubborn and independent and this is absolutely frowned upon by the Elders in her community.

This book is not anti-religion but deals with themes such as tolerance, family, authority, closed-mindedness and freedom. It will provoke discussion about prejudice an...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Gleitzman may at last have found the perfect character for his particular style of storytelling, which frequently employs a child protagonist who is naive and unworldly—in some cases, perhaps a little unrealistically so, although he always pulls it off in the end. In this case, Grace, the protagonist-narrator, is truly unworldly and believably naive. She's been raised in a closed, fringe Christian sect, kept away from outsiders/sinners, but also encouraged to ask questions and always be true to...more
YA Reader
If you have a child aged between 8 and 11 then there's one author I would highly recommend. His name is Morris Gleitzman. His books gripped me as a child, even in my early teens and surprisingly still. He's a proper author - he treats his readers with respect. Despite the recommended age for Morris' latest book Grace, it is clear that he does not patronise his young readers. This is a pattern in all of his books and why he rates so highly on my list of children's writers.

Sure, Grace is written...more
I can't believe I picked this book up by accident and read it in one sitting. What a powerful and personal novel. I could relate so much to Grace's organised-religious experiences, and it was wonderful to come across a book with such a positive tone.
It separates God from Church beautifully - how warped and deformed good aspects of the Bible can become by cult-like religions. I love how the book draws phenomenal parallels between biblical stories and the present narrative - constantly playing wit...more
Shane Harcombe
I picked up 'Grace' with a lot of anticipation as Morris Gleitzman is possibly my favourite children's author. Many of Gleitzman's hallmarks are here - an engaging, likeable, mature-beyond-their-years child narrator & hero, an "issue" in society to be addressed and plenty of humour. I enjoyed Grace as a character and the "be true to yourself" and "be willing to question" main themes.

However, I didn't quite get the need for the setting. Gleitzman's books have addressed issues that are very re...more
Grace has been brought up to be strong and think for herself which are usually traits recognised favourably in children but she belongs to a strict religious sect who frown on anything their elders do not like so she finds herself getting into difficulties. Her dad is also strong willed and before long finds himself forcefully expelled from his family. The elders inform mum he wants a divorce and drugs her so she loses all her fight but Grace never loses faith in her dad and gains help from some...more
YA Reads Book Reviews
I know I’m stating the obvious here, but this is the new book by Morris Gleitzman. Although Morris isn’t technically Australian, he emigrated here when he was young, so I think its safe for us to claim him as our own now, and at the moment I’m feeling kind of proud to do so. For those of you that don’t know who Morris is, I feel the need to ask what kind of rock you’ve been living under for the last, oh, I don’t know, forever? (Especially if you’re Australian). I used to read him when I was youn...more
ISLN (Int'l School Library Network) Singapore
Reading age 11 to 15

Grace’s previously close and secure world becomes strange just because she, and her father, ask questions.
The family, Mum, Dad, Grace and the twins, are members of a church with strict rules for living. Women must not cut their hair, only members of the church will go to heaven, and contact with ‘outsiders’ is strictly limited. Certainly a church member cannot eat or touch an outsider. Then Mr Gosper, an Elder of the church, finds Grace’s school project about her...more
Emma (BelleBooks)
Grace has been brought up with strict religious beliefs, in school she is taught that outsiders are all sinners and she must avoid contact with them. At home however her father allows Grace to think for herself, and answers all her questions as truthfully as possible.
This leads to Grace also asking questions about God, the church elders and even her school teachers. About whether they are following God in the right way or not.

After one to many questions, Grace's father is banished from the comm...more
I've never read anything by Morris Gleitzman before (although Two Weeks With the Queen sounds quite familiar) and his books are ones that I'd probably miss on shelves because I think they are targeted at a younger age than what I am and would read. I'm really thankful to the lovely J at Puffin though, for asking me to review Grace, because it's fantastic. Definitely something I'll be recommending for the younger year groups at my school!

Grace lives in a world where religion limits her options in...more
Grace has been brought up as part of an extreme religious group and has to abide by the very strict rules set by the church elders. She must keep her hair long and pinned up neatly in a bun, she must never under any circumstances talk to anyone who isn't a part of her community - the outside world is full of sinners who are destined to go to hell - and she must never, ever question the elders. Her parents, especially her father, have always encouraged her ask questions but this causes problems w...more
Kathy Parker
My son brought this home from the school library and wanted me to read it after he did. I found it to be well written, and a brilliant contrast between religion/church and God - two very very different things. Obviously their church bordered on the cultish side (understatement) and not all churches are like that. However, I know first hand what it is to experience religion in a way that is controlling and dictated by living under the law. Morris Glietzman gives a wonderful insight into living un...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lisa (scarlet21)
This might appeal more to the younger readers it is aimed at. It's a fairly simple story of a young girl whose life revolves around the church she and her family belong to - it is obviously some extremist church or cult as they are not allowed to mix with any 'outsiders' even as far as eating food from 'outside'. Her daddy is always questioning the doctrines of his church and is 'expelled' - the story is about Grace's efforts to get her daddy back and how she comes to realise that the church and...more
Grace is the oldest of three children - and the strongest. She has been brought up in a very strict religious group who expect their 'congregation' to follow their rules strictly. However, Grace's dad has always wanted his children to think for themselves and question ideas which leads to constant trouble for the family. Gleitzman is a great writer for teens as he deals with difficult topics but tells them in a way that people of many ages can read them avidly. The character of Grace is particul...more
Fascinating, heart warming and touching.
Mar 09, 2012 Jessica rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: People who love sad storys.
Recommended to Jessica by: Me
Shelves: classic
This story is so sad. Grace is said as sinful when she tries to protect her Father from her evil Grandfather. Her dad then gets taken away because he was acted against their religon. Her Mum and Dad get divorced with the help of a mean man from her church lying and being sinful himself. He then marrys Grace's Mum and he kidnaps them. You don't have to be religious to understand the meanings of this story, they're felings are explained so realisticly. This is a very sad story but it has a happy e...more
I enjoyed this book, but I have a niggling perception that Grace was just a little bit too sure of her beliefs - both of her belief in God, and her belief in her parents. I think that much surety is admirable, but I am not completely convinced that she wouldn't at some point have had grave doubts about what was happening. The problem with adding some doubting to the story is that it would have made it a much more harrowing tale - and perhaps too anxiety-laden for the tweens that I feel it was ta...more
Charmaine Clancy
Grace is a character you won't quickly forget. Her voice lingers. Wonderful binaries and parallels in this book exploring faith, its cost and its rewards. Grace and her father are deemed by their church as having no real faith. They are ostracised because of this. But their rebellion of the church's rules reveal they possess more faith than anyone else. A story about love, family and the lengths you'll go to when those are threatened. A short but very sweet read.
A brilliant musing on insular religion (can I say cult?) from a child's perspective. Morris Gleitzman writes at the end that he was raised in a Christian environment, but doesn't share their beliefs now. I guess the scariest thing is that there are people and communities like described in this book in Australia and indeed in Melbourne now. I occasionally read in the newspaper of individuals fleeing these groups, or being expelled. Yikes.
Alison Forde
Grace and her family are members of a church sect with rather extreme beliefs and when her father is expelled for questioning the ways of the church, Grace and her mother find out just what lengths the church elders are prepared to go to to keep the family apart. Grace is a very entertaining character who speaks in biblical terms, but unlike many members of her church she has managed to retain her humanity in the face of religious nuttery.
I read about 10pages of this book and hated it.. I didn't like the concept.
Kim Maddin
This was very interesting to read. You start out not even knowing what the book is about as there is no description on the back or jacket cover. As you read you discover that the narrator is a young girl named Grace who lives in Australia and who's family belongs to a cult like "church" I read it in one night. I didn't give it 5 stars, as I didn't LOVE it but I really found it interesting and very well written.
Joe Greenaway
A great read for everyone. Do not read if you're too religious though because it's kind of about breaking away from your church. Grace loves God but when her church expells her Dad, it all turns bad and they are forced to leave the church. Gleitzman weaves the story great with comedy, action and drama all in one. Aimed at juniors but good for anyone
This is actually a very good book. Its completly different than what i thought ity would be, in a good way though. It wasn't really like any book I have read before and quite intresting. I don't really know who i would recommend this book to though.
Thought-provoking novel about a young girl discovering that her protected life is built on lies. I could imagine this book as a great read-aloud and discussion starters when talking with students about freedom of religion or religion and beliefs in general.
When I read this book it made me so mad. That stuff like this happens that there are people put there that are so inhumane!
Back to the book - it was a) a great read b) written well c) eye-opening d) wonderful
I really enjoyed reading this book, I didnt expect it to be so good. I really liked the way the author described all the characters clearly, so it was easier to picture the story in your head.
It was wonderful.
I'm glad the family got a good home to live in in the end
Grace's grandfather was horrible, and he had the wrong idea of being a christian
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Morris began his writing career as a screenwriter, and wrote his first children's novel in 1985. His brilliantly comic style has endeared him to children and adults alike, and he is now one of Australia's most successful authors, both internationally and at home. He was born in England in 1953 and emigrated to Australia in 1969 so he could escape from school and become a Very Famous Writer.

More about Morris Gleitzman...
Once (Once, #1) Then (Once, #2) Now (Once, #3) Boy Overboard Two Weeks with the Queen (Cascades)

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“Don't sit back and wait for God to do it all. Ask for His advice, but be prepared to do the hard yards yourself.” 32 likes
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