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Converting Kate

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  397 Ratings  ·  80 Reviews
Kate was raised in the Holy Divine Church. It influenced everything from her homeschooling to her handmade clothes. But ever since her unbelieving father's death last year, she has suspected that there's more to life than memorizing scripture.

Taking advantage of their move to a new town, Kate to her devout mother's horror quits Holy Divine. She joins the cross-country team
Hardcover, 312 pages
Published March 15th 2007 by Viking Books for Young Readers
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Rating details
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Jun 10, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: those who like thought-provoking books
Shelves: young-adult, loved, 2008
This book was wonderful and so thought-provoking. Kate has been raised in her mother's strict faith, living her life according to the (fictitious) Holy Divine Church, but after her father dies and they move to a new city, Kate begins questioning the religion she once accepted as the one true way and finds her assumptions challenged and her beliefs more confused than ever.

What I really liked about this book is how much it made you ponder beliefs that we may just accept as fact. Kate, her uber-re
Jan 11, 2009 rated it did not like it
This book was well written and interesting, but I didn't like the message at the end.

Quick Overview: Kate and her mother are members of a cult-like church. While Kate's mother is still a strong believer in the church, Kate is having doubts and second thoughts about whether she really believes the teachings. The church created conflict between her parents and ended in their divorce. Now it is causing tension between Kate and her mother. After her father dies of a heart attack Kate and her mother
Dec 18, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I have read Converting Kate several times now and with each reading, find a different pearl of wisdom hidden within it's pages. I have read it outloud on a long roadtrip with my partner and we both cried together over Kate's journey, seeing our own similar experiences in her "conversion." I have also read it silently to myself - slowly pondering each chapter on completion.

I always find a true mark of a great story whether on page, the movie screen or elsewhere to be one where the characters com
Feb 10, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This book...I don't even know where to start. I mean, it's not something I would've found on Goodreads and went "Wow. That's something I want to read." Because it's not my normal book. I happened to have extra time one day while I was in the library and I picked it up, liking the cover. But this story is really deep.

Kate has been a part of the Church of the Holy Divine her entire life...until her father died and she began doubting what she believed in. Now she has to decide what's real.

This book
Dec 20, 2009 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Gwen by: Sara
This is book was recommended to me by my friend Sara, after a conversation we had one day about different religions. I have to say, in the first quarter of the book I was a little worried that the book was going in a direction that I didn't want to read about.. But I was pleasantly surprised!

One of the main things I liked about this book, is that the main character Kate, who was pushed in to a cultish religion by her mother, was able to decide for herself that that kind of life wasn't for her.
Jul 28, 2008 rated it liked it
After her father's unexpected death, Kate begins to question the conservative religious tradition that she has been brought up in. When she and her mother locate to a new town, Kate discovers new ideas, new friends, and is able to gain a sense of peace about her father's place in her life and his ultimate death.

I liked a number of things about this novel. Kate was a likable character and some of the novel's minor characters were well-drawn and interesting. However, the novel's primary focus, Kat
Jan 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2012
Excellent. Just wonderful! I find it interesting that the bad reviews were given by religious people. I was raised Methodist, but now I am not religious at all. Why? Well, just like Kate, once you start actually thinking for yourself, you realize that religion is ridiculous and a form of control. I am MUCH happier without religion, and I still lead as good of a life as I did before - better, maybe, because I'm not doing it because I "have" to.

But hey, some people need that safety blanket. I esca
Int'l librarian
Religion is at the center of this book. Kate is 15 years old, her father has died, and she has just moved to Maine. She has the chance to start a new life, away from the strict rules of the religion she grew up with. At the same time, Kate's mom is working desperately to keep her in the church.

It's almost impossible to like the mom - she tries to forbid Kate to go to malls, listen to popular music, read non-religious novels, or ever go anywhere with boys.

The author is writing in part from her
May 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
Kate's struggles with religion reminded me of my own ongoing ones; it's sometimes difficult to accept the black-and-white of life when there's just so much GREY. Pastor Browning was a perfect example of what a servant of god should resemble; kind, open-minded, charitable, and more. We should be focused on loving a person for their soul, not by any other superfluous distinction. I find myself wanting to fall back into faith after meeting him, but then again, I completely remember why I don't when ...more
Ali Schultz
I have read this book probably at least once a year since the first time and nothing can stop me. It's a fast read not because just because it's short but because it's enthralling. As a person of unspecific but definite faith, I don't see it as anti-religious, but rather an example of open mindedness and acceptance. I think I first read this back in 2007 when it was first published, and it is one of the most mindset-influencing of my Mindset-Influence shelf. And, as a person who can empathize wi ...more
Lisa Murray
Mar 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I wish there had been a book with this sort of honest faith exploration when I was a teen. Forget the shallow stereotypes and see how relationships are woven around beliefs. What is true charity? Is it love or manipulation to befriend someone to proselytize them? how do actions coincide or diverge from scriptural exhortations? and the descriptions of high school life match some of my own angst-ridden challenges. well-done!
Josephine Mercado
Jul 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Funny, Interesting, and Surprising, this book was beyond amazing. It remains my favorite book, when I found it in the back corner of my library. I found it to be very relatable and would definitely recommend this to anyone thinking of reading it.
Jan 08, 2008 rated it really liked it
This was recommended by a good friend (also a librarian) who, also like me, left the conservative Christian religion she had been raised with. Dawn and I both often consider literature our therapy, and that's exactly what this book was for me. Beyond that, it's a great story that would interest middle school/high school girls--it's got friendship, romance, athletics, and especially major mother conflicts!
May 30, 2012 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book over all. Many of the under pinning philosophies are very true. Elements of the Kate's struggle reminded me of the Patron Saint of Butterflies, another awesome book. If you come from a background where many religious people look at life in a black and white fashion then take note from Kate and look through the glass darkly.
Mar 30, 2009 rated it really liked it
This was a very emotional and touching book to read. After her non-religious father's untimely death, a young girl struggles with the beliefs in the strict religion in which her mother has raised her. She questions her faith, relationships, purpose and existence, while forming some strong and not-so-strong new relationships with friends and family.
Mar 08, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
Well worth reading! Someone on CCBC recommended this as a favorite of 2007, and I am always interested in stories about faith and seekers and doubters. I especially liked how Kate turned her ability to memorize Bible passages into a determination to remember favorite passages from her dad's books.

There's a lot going on in this story--grief, faith, friendship, identity. Well written!
Good stuff, but I only bring it down to four stars because it feels a bit incomplete and there's no sequel. Neatly written, very surprising at times, and Pastor Browning's story gets pretty sad in the end.

Again, though, it doesn't really leave me with much in the way of closure. Which sucks.
Dec 24, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: life-changing
Wow this was an unexpected good find. I can't even explain all the things it touched on and how many many people I know need to read it. I put it in my life changing bookshelf because it was that good.
Mary Farrell
Oct 24, 2012 rated it liked it
Kate is a feisty character who I enjoyed following through this story.
May 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is why I have stayed in YA because of books like this one. It is touching, bittersweet, real, and just nice on the eyes. I simply fucking adore it.
Sep 04, 2012 rated it liked it
Although this book deals particularly with religion, I think it would be appreciated by any teen who finds they feel differently about a significant issue than their parents.
Barbara Ray
Dec 01, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the best books I have read lately. Lots of issues but great hearts and good examples of friendship
Feb 02, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
OH MY GOSH THIS BOOK IS COMPLTELY ADDICTING! Once again, I usually don't read this type of book, but I am so glad I started it. It's interesting, and just GREAT writing.
Kilana Brammer
Mar 01, 2009 rated it it was amazing
It taught me that you can't judge people by their religion.
Mar 04, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This book is very interesting. It makes you wonder and keeps things going. Anyone will love it.
Megan Albertson
Oct 12, 2010 rated it liked it
"converting kate" was pretty good. i liked how the guys played opposite roles than i thought in the beginning. i love being surprised by stuff like that:)
Oct 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing
The story about the trials of a young woman and her spiritual awakening.
Cindy Dyson Eitelman
Feb 08, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2017
The title is misleading--it should have been, How To Live With A Religious Fanatic...and stay somewhat sane. You pretty much know from the first pages that she's given up on her mother's religion. There's no 'converting'. She's just learning how to find a place for herself in a world where there are no predefined lines. There are no church schedules, church friends, or church code of conduct. It's all up to her.

It's an interesting book but I wouldn't exactly call it a favorite. Even though the t
May 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018
Joséphine (Word Revel)
Kate is a character I'm going to remember for a long time to come. She is someone I'd like to be friends with if I were to meet her in real life. Most of the time I remember books for their stories and their ideas but I will remember this book for the person whose story was portrayed and whose ideas seeped through the pages.

Converting Kate is one of those books that are very unassuming when you first pick them up. I wanted to read it because the portrayal of religion and religious beliefs in fic
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Married 36 years

Two adult daughters.

Currently Live in NYC and Tenants Harbor ME

Have lived in Utah, Arizona, California,Iowa, Ohio, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Virginia,Florida and NYC.

Hobbies: Writing, reading, walking, hiking, kayaking, swimming, oceans, oceans, oceans, shopping, movies, making cookies, gardening.

More about Beckie Weinheimer

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