Book Review: "Maggie Come Lately" by Michelle Buckman
Not Sweet 16
Maggie is not the most popular in school. Since her mother committed suicide when Maggie was four, she's been the female head of her household. For years she's been in charge of most of the family affairs, leaving very little time for her to enjoy being a teenager. Then her father brings home another woman, who threatens to usurp Maggie's position in the house. There is also other things happening in her life: she discovers a girl from school in the woods who was raped, a dog is gruesomely killed near their house, and one of the youth group leaders is making her feel extremely uncomfortable. This is not what beeing 16 is supposed to be like....
This was an extremely powerful and moving story. The whole book you can completely relate to Maggie and feel for her. The opening scene is shocking with Maggie as a young child witnessing her mother's suicide and the effect it has on her for the rest of her life. I think a lot of girls will be able to relate to Maggie about not being popular and being on the outside looking in. And there will be also many who have to deal with parents dating and remarrying and the adjustments that come with that. The scenes where Maggie deals with having a taste of the in crowd, drinking and being with the popular guys are scenes that are all too familiar in high schools. The author obviously knows the way teens think and act.
There are serious topics discussed in the book. The scenes of the rape are harsh and graphic but teens need to read about this to know how to protect themselves. You feel the pain and the fear for both Maggie and the girl who was raped. The same goes for the idea of a sexual predator in the church. It's sad and scary that this happens even in a Christian community and it shows that you have to be careful of who you trust. I would definitely recommend this for older teens. Due to the mature content younger teens might not be ready for this but older teens should read this book. This book is comparable to Melody Carlson's books as a way to get teens to read. HIGHLY recommended.
Maggie Come Lately by Michelle Buckman is published by NavPress (2007)