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The Baptism

3.32  ·  Rating Details  ·  47 Ratings  ·  15 Reviews
When you turn twelve in Occoneechee Neck in Jackson, North Carolina, everything changes. You get to do stuff you couldn't do when you were eleven. And it means it's time to get baptized.

Twin brothers Leon and Luke Curry turned twelve last month. Ma has given them one week in which to do right -- to cleanse themselves of their sinning ways and get themselves ready for the
Hardcover, 144 pages
Published January 9th 2007 by Margaret K. McElderry Books (first published January 1st 2007)
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Ms. Patterson
Mar 19, 2013 Ms. Patterson rated it liked it
Readers follow along as Leon weaves a story about the time when he and his twin brother, Luke, are now twelve and old enough to be baptized. This is a coming-of-age tradition is his community, and one that Leon isn't sure he's ready for. In his matter-of-fact voice, the reader learns of the racial prejudice Leon and his family live with daily, and the many injustices African-Americans faced. For me, it's difficult to fathom having to live with the fact that your father was murdered and nothing d ...more
Kathy Lane
Nov 06, 2011 Kathy Lane rated it it was ok
I was on the fence about this one. I liked Kip's posting :) The dialect was interesting especially as it carried through the narration. Perhaps it is because it isn't one I have an ear for, but it didn't always flow smoothly for me - like in some places the dialect lapsed into standard English. I also realize that I prefer books that don't paint all adults as anti-hero / bad (I am trying to decide if this is something I need to overcome for Thumbs Up, or a valid literary preference - I'll maybe ...more
Sarah Evans
Feb 21, 2009 Sarah Evans rated it really liked it
Shelves: washyarg
Poor Leon just can’t stop sinning. He and his twin Luke turned twelve last month and in Occoneechee Neck that means you get baptized. Leon suffers from the usual follies of childhood such as stealing cookies, but he also has many people to try his patience like his lazy older brother “Joe Nasty”, his gambling stepfather “Filthy Frank”, and local bully “White Cousin”. Even his meek yet loving twin can be hard to deal with at times. Ma has given the twins one week to change their ways and be ready ...more
Books Kids Like
Oct 06, 2013 Books Kids Like rated it really liked it
Shelves: moses-sheila-p
Leon Curry tells about the week before he and his twin brother, Luke, are supposed to be baptized. Their mother expects them to spend the week being good to show that they are ready to be saved. Luke, who has always tried to please Ma, doesn't seem to have any trouble. By the end of the week, he gets to sit on the “mornin bench” and pledge to baptism the following Sunday. Leon, on the other hand, enjoys swearing and sinning. He isn't sure that he's ready to give it all up to be saved. Besides th ...more
Mar 31, 2009 Jenn rated it it was ok
Written Review
Rating: R
Grade: 4-7
Author: Shelia P. Moses
Title: The Baptism
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry
Copyright: 2007
Price 10.95

# ISBN-10: 1416906711
# ISBN-13: 978-1416906711

Reviewer: Jenn Good Date: 03/06/09

This book is narrated by Twin Leon, an African-American boy living in rural North Carolina in the 1940’s. Twin Leon’s mother is trying to get him to do right and get baptized along side his brother Luke. The twins have just turned 12, the coming of age point in their church community.
A sweet, lyrical family book about a 12 year old who is trying to stop sinning in one week so he can get baptized. Unfortunately, that week there is a tornado and a county fair. Not to mention the constant irritants of no good stepfather Filthy Frank and the white people down the road who act like they are not related to his family. This book is a little melodramatic, but I enjoyed it for being the story of a strong family in rural NC before the Civil Rights movement. Now I want to read more of ...more
Oct 26, 2009 Elaine rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: youth
Twin Leon and his twin, Twin Luke are about to be baptized next Sunday. Their ma is making them since they just turned 12. Her belief is that baptism is going to get them saved. Unfortunately she doesn't know that baptism is an outward sign. Salvation is a heart thing and Twin Leon doesn't want to be baptized. He wants to go on sinning. Twin Luke doesn't want to cause trouble and wouldn't get into it if he didn't hang around with Twin Leon.

Well, almost...
Baker Street Reads
Dec 20, 2014 Baker Street Reads rated it it was amazing
this book was quite powerful for such a tiny package, it certainly reminded me to commune with nature (my faith is nature based). The plot is almost entirely predictable without being at all dull, and, most important of all; it felt like I was reading something a twelve year-old wrote! this is important since it is the story of two twelve year old boys and their week from hell before they get baptized.
Mar 11, 2009 Dapreshiathorne rated it it was amazing
Shelves: book-club
This book is about a little boy name Leon who has a twin name Luke and they've both just turned 12 and where they live at, at that age u have to get baptised ... So this book takes you through the journey of them and their lives wat goes on between now and the time that they are getting baptised...
Mar 20, 2013 Kendra rated it liked it
This is one of those books that adults will like better than kids. The portrayal of the life of African Americans in the South before desegregation is stark and uncomfortable to read about, especially when Leon matter-of-factly tells of his father's murder or the identity of his white grandfather.
Feb 15, 2010 Sharon rated it liked it
The twin brothers leon and luke Curry has just turn twelve years old and there mother think its time for them to go on the mornin bench but are they ready? These can't stay out of trouble before there are baptized. Fast read it was just okay.
May 04, 2008 Catherine rated it really liked it
I loved Twin Leon's voice. In a way, Moses' writing reminded me of Brian Doyle, and I am a big admirer of Doyle's. I'm planning to look for her "Buddy Rush" books after reading this.
Mar 08, 2009 Andreia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Any and Every Body
Definitely brings a bunch of bittersweet smiles to my face. I remember the stories about the braided branches from the tree.
Jun 30, 2011 Diane rated it liked it
The struggle of two young men to prepare for their baptism, which is expected by their mother.
Mar 13, 2011 Marge added it
Shelves: middle
Coretta Scott King honor recipient (takes a long time to get baptised
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Poet, author, playwright, and producer Shelia P. Moses was raised the ninth of ten children on Rehobeth Road in Rich Square, North Carolina. She is the co-author of Dick Gregory's memoir, Callus on My Soul, as well as the award-winning author of several books for young readers. Shelia lives in Atlanta, Georgia.

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