Misdirected: A Novel
A quirky coming-of-age story for middle school readers that touches on many modern issues faced by young people: bullying, social pressures, homophobia, religious intolerance, and dating.
Poor Ben just had his life turned upside down. His parents move him from Boston to a small town in Colorado where everyone keeps strict religious beliefs, and the new rules and beliefs confound him. The kids at his high school talk about being “saved” and try to convert him, then pick on him for his atheist beliefs. His crush Tess is the only one who treats him kindly, but soon her parents forbid them from seeing each other because he doesn’t believe in God. And his only friend at school, James, is struggling with his own problems trying to take care of his alcoholic mother. If only Ben’s older brother and sister were around to help, but Pete is serving in Iraq and Emily is off at college with her own life lessons to learn. It’s a lot to handle, but Ben’s upbeat attitude and introspective demeanor help him confront his close-minded classmates and overcome his own prejudices.
“What a great swan dive into the world of literature.”—Amos Lassen
“Berman tackles religious intolerance from an unexpected angle that will hit close to home for many and spark interesting discussion.”—Cary Frostick, School Library Journal
“Misdirected has an easy, colloquial style and it’s a pleasure to read. Its characters are credible and well-rounded and I really did love Ben, who tells the odd white – and sometimes a shade of grey – lie but who is, at heart, honest and open with himself as well as others.” —Jill Murphy, The Bookbag