Viking Juvenile 2007
You know those times when you want that hopeful ending and a little sugar isn't so bad? Well, that's Converting Kate. If you've ever questioned your faith or actually left your family's religion, then you'd probably appreciate this story. Yep, it's YA and as an adult who reads a lot of contemporary YA let me tell you this is no Disney movie converted to print.
Kate and her mom belong to a pretty strict faith that preaches they are the one true church. After the death of her father (a non-believer), Kate's doubts turn to anger and then rejection. It's not a simple matter of accepting her father's death rather it's the confluence of questions that weigh on her as she matures. When Kate and her mom move to her dad's birthplace, Kate meets new friends, new school, and she's exposed to ideas and experiences she had been cut off from when she was very young.
The story has a good range of characters including Pastor Browning who turns out to be agnostic and gay and open-minded. He helps Kate navigate through her doubts and anger. Beckie Weinheimer writes from personal experience. There's authenticity here. It strikes a chord with all of us who remember our own crisis of faith.