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3.89  ·  Rating details ·  829 Ratings  ·  60 Reviews
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.
Paperback, 186 pages
Published August 3rd 2009 by Viking (first published January 1st 2009)
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Jess - The Tales Compendium
Apr 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: contemporary
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
Aug 29, 2011 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 22, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Oct 09, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrensfiction
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
Aug 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I found this story delightful. Grace's internal thoughts are hilarious. It is about family who eventually leave a church group because it doesn't encourage free thought.
Shane Harcombe
Jan 03, 2014 rated it liked it
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
Nov 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourite-books
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
Alison Forde
Apr 21, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Sep 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
I loved this book it was quite sad although it was a great book
YA Reads Book Reviews
Sep 11, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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
Jan 22, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Aug 28, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Grace is a contemporary story of belief, faith and family. It’s about being true to yourself and your beliefs and standing up for your religious freedom and right to think freely.

Grace and her family are part of a small religious community. Her Uncle has just been made an elder. A special role in their church and it is a time of celebration. But sadly for Grace, she seems to sin despite her good intentions. Her school project sparks outrage from their leader Mr Gosper. It sets in motion a chain
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
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
Aug 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: funny, emotional, religion
I casually picked this book up from a friend's house and I was immediately intrigued by the first page, enough to bring it home with me. I love how Grace talks almost in Bible verse, which really shows how important the Bible and religion are to her life and socialisation. Parts of the book made me so angry, and the likely probability that sexist, uber-strict cults like hers actually do exist makes it worse.

Grace is so brave, funny and true that you are completely on her side (though I probably

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
Anna Tan
May 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Mookie once asked me if there were books or movies that made me cry.
I have to admit to tearing up once or twice for this one.

Written in a somewhat awkward childish parody of the Bible, Grace tells her story of how her father got expelled from the "church" mainly because of her. "Church" because this is obviously a very small, secret, cult, which believes in very weird stuff. Why was he expelled? Because he asked too many questions, and obviously led her astray because she asked questions, talk
Kathy Parker
Apr 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
May 16, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 22, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Karen ⊰✿
Mar 07, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: uno_2016
For fans of Morris Gleitzman, this won't disappoint. It has his usual naive, young hero narrating the story and trying to make sense of the world, while weaving some serious themes designed to pique the interest of the young reader.
In this book it is young Grace who has grown up in a religious Christian cult and is trying to understand why her father has been expelled from the cult, and what that means to her and her family. It is a sensitive subject and Gleitzman handles it appropriately. It is
Nadia So
Jan 10, 2015 rated it liked it
Grace's dad got expelled from the church and Grace has to commit sins to help her dad. But grace believes in Lord God which means she's supposed to obey His commandments. But Grace decides be in contact with Ungodly Outsiders to help salvage her dad. She decides to commit sins in the process to help get her dad back. She faced lies and tricks upon her and creating problems and trouble.

The characters are Grace, Grandpop, Mark, Luke, Uncle Vern, Dad, Mom.
The genre of this book is religious. The un
Jan 19, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 15, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult, tween
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
Jun 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: teen, 2014
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
Mar 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Kim Maddin
Sep 22, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: juv-fic, ya
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.
Aug 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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.
Charmaine Clancy
Feb 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: aussie
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.
Joe Greenaway
Apr 07, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
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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.

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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.” 39 likes
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