Review Blog

May 07 2019

Devoted by Jennifer Mathieu

cover image

Hachette, 2019. ISBN: 9781444945256.
(Age: 15+) Recommended. This book was captivating and disturbing. A confronting story of family relationships is told through the eyes of Rachel. Rachel belongs to a family devoted to a fundamentalist Christian religion.
The family church emphasises female submission and follows a rigid interpretation of the Bible that sets all followers apart from the rest of civilisation. Family members do not attend school or associate with members of the wider community.
Rachel accesses the one computer in the house to manage her father's business. This opens the door to knowledge - and Rachel begins to realise that there might be more to life. This book sensitively and intelligently explores the relationship Rachel has with her faith. The reader considers the actions of her family when her access to wider knowledge is discovered. As Rachel interrogates the differing perspectives on offer the reader also interprets their perspectives of the Bible, feminism, and vegetarian lifestyles.
There is a delicate touch to the writing that shows Rachel evolving through the experience of leaving the community. The support she receives nurtures her and is provided without judgement. 'Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?' is the question that returns throughout the book. Devoted is an essential read.
Linda Guthrie

Archived Blog Entries
Latest News
Teens' Top Ten 2020
Blue Peter Book Awards shortlist 2021
Children's Book Award UK 2020
Little Rebels Award 2020
CBCA Book Awards 2020
2020 UKLA Book Awards

ReadPlus Features
Print similar authors bookmark
Read similar authors
How to find lesson plans
Sample theme animation

Promote Reading
Feel good and uplifting books for staff
Online Children's Storytime Websites List
Free Rights of the Reader Poster
Children's Laureate's charter