Share This Article

Book Reviews
August 11, 2009 posted by Nikki

Grace – Morris Gleitzman

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. And then I started doing sins. And lo, that’s when all our problems began.

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 young and I’m incredibly happy that I decided to read his new book, Grace. Although I’d argue it’s targeted at an audience that is slightly younger than we usually cater for, I reckon this is the kind of book that all readers will be able to get into.

Meet Grace: daughter, sister, inquisitive student, and completely devoted to God. So devoted to God it’s not even funny. After being inside her head for just a few pages, I realised that this story was going to be loaded with religious values/ideals/blah blah blah – and that is not something I really enjoy reading about. But thankfully, I persisted, and I learned a whole lot from Grace.

When Grace’s father is expelled from their cult/church (referred to by Grace herself as a “special” kind of Christianity) Grace thinks it’s her fault. I mean, she did get off the school bus to check and see if the people in the van they hit were okay, she did ask too many questions, and she did interrupt prayer at school. Maybe if she hadn’t done these things, he’d still be allowed to live with them. After setting out on a mission to find her dad and bring him home, Grace begins to realise that her father’s expulsion really wasn’t her fault. She starts to see that the men of her church, particularly her grandfather, might be manipulating the situation more than she first understood.

Will Grace be able to show her mother the truth, prove her father’s innocence and save her family? Sounds like a helluva burden for such a small kid to carry, but everyone knows that sometimes, adults can be total morons and only the genius of the child mind can save a the day.

If you’re into seriously fanatical religion, then I’d stay away from this book, especially if your breed of fanaticism dances in Christianity’s court. I think the only reason I was able to stomach all the religious fodder in this story was because it totally demonised it. Having said that, I think its safe to admit that I totally loved this book! Grace is an awesome character whose initiative, dedication, and inquisitive mind set her up as a noble heroine worthy of admiration by all. For someone who has spent her entire life in a brainwashed bubble of Christian poo, Grace accepts the truth about her circumstances with the maturity of someone much older than her years. If it were me, I’d be in all kinds of denial. But she was believable in every single way; I never once found myself thinking that her choices or her thoughts were unrealistic.

What really scared me about this story was just how impressionable the human mind can be. The community members that are part of Grace’s church are brainwashed beyond anything I can possibly comprehend. A scenario like that seems like total fiction to me, because I just can’t get my head around how someone (or a whole group of someone’s) can succumb to something like that without question. But the truth is, it’s not fiction. There are cults just like this one functioning in real life. I think a story like this is definitely appropriate for a pre-adolescent (or early adolescent) audience because it demonstrates that sometimes, just because everyone else is doing it, doesn’t necessarily make it a right, or a good thing. It’s good to ask questions, and knowledge is always, always power.

This is a very easy book to read and I knocked it over in two hours flat (including time allocated for a coffee and toilet break). Morris Gleitzman has totally outdone himself this time and this book (unexpectedly) knocked my freaking socks off! Two extremely enthusiastic yaReads thumbs up for Grace.

Rating:: ★★★★★

Related Posts


  • I’m loving this review. You’ve got me very willing to read the book and I will admit to being brought up in a Christian environment myself.
    Honestly, saying that I’m a Christian would depend on the way people receive it and their own definition of the title “Christian”. But in saying that, according to my definition I consider myself a Christian.

    “What really scared me about this story was just how impressionable the human mind can be. The community members that are part of Grace’s church are brainwashed beyond anything I can possibly comprehend.”
    I’ve seen this firsthand, not to the same extent necessarily, and I must say that it’s honestly frightening. However, although we know that power struggles are evident throughout nature, I think that the problem lies in those who don’t allow themselves to think openly and question their beliefs until they truly understand and know what they’re following.

    “It’s good to ask questions, and knowledge is always, always power.”
    I second this wholeheartedly!
    I love the outline you’ve provided about the book. Can’t wait to get my hands on it!!!


  • I like your blog. You are very knowledgeable and have some great content.
    Success Mom

  • Hello, Itook your advice and i read the book. I really enjoyed it. So far it is my favourite book. Raquel. xxx

  • That was a great reveiw, i am trying to read all of morris gleitzmans books, i have already read ONCE, GRACE AND 2 -WEEKS WITH THE QUEEN!

  • i loved the book and i am doing a project on it
    and i forget what all the characters are can you help me


  • i love the book it is awesome, and you wrote a great blog thingy. Thanks

  • I am currently reading this book and it is very interesting. I’m not religous but I thought that the bible said that we should not judge.

  • I visitеd many web sites eҳcept the audio quality for audio songs existing at
    thiѕ site is genuinely excellent.

  • whoɑh this weblog is magnificent i ⅼike studying your articles.
    Keep up the great work! You already know, many peгsons are looking round for
    this info, you сoulԀ aid them greatly.

  • Thank you for any other infօгmative web ѕite.

    WҺere еlse may I am getting that kind of
    info written in such an ideal approach? I’ve a chalⅼenge that I am simply now working
    on, and I’ve been on the look out fߋr such info.

  • Can I simрly just say what a relief to discover someone that
    ցenuinely understands what they are discussing on the internet.
    Yⲟu actually realize һow to bring an issue to light and mаke it important.
    More people really need to read this and understand this side of your story.
    It’s surрrising уou aгen’t moгe popular given tɦat you
    сertainly possess the gift.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Facebook Comments