Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Fiction That Makes You Think

I like to read fiction that makes me think. Instead of the fluffy, entertaining stuff, I feel that if I actually learn something when I read, my time is well spent.

That's how I felt when I read Sheep's Clothing by Josi Kilpack. I happened to read one of her earlier drafts and immediately fell in love with the story. So I was excited to read it again when the book was released last month. Kate was someone I could relate to and that's probably why it made the story a little eerie. When her daughter, Jesse, starts to chat online with a child predator, things start escalate.

What parents wouldn't be horrified if they found out their child was being solicited by a 40+ man posing as a 13-year old girl? Just creepy all the way around. The sad thing is that in this case, truth is not stranger than fiction. The fiction is the truth.

The book takes you through 16-year old Jesse's journey of insecurity and how she turns to a friend "Emily" who she meets online. We also catch a glimpse of Kate, Jesse's mother, who is trying to be the "all" for her six children, her husband . . . but essentially falls short when she doesn't pay close enough attention to the changes in her daughter's life.

Of course it can happen to anyone. And it does. So that's why I really appreciated the Author Notes that Josi added at the end of her book. They detail resources that parents can use to help prevent internet predators from infiltrating their homes.

I definitely think Sheep's Clothing is an excellent book for parents and teenagers to read together. It will open up that line of communication. My 12-year old son has an email address (parent-approved). So, yeah. Precautions need to be taken.


Janette Rallison said...

Yikes, one more thing for me to worry about as a parent. I'm almost afraid to read Josi's new book--I get creeped out easily.

Julie Wright said...

Josi's book is excellent. It is perfect for the market right now and I cannot agree with you more of how great it is!

Tristi Pinkston said...

Josi's writing always makes me think -- she has a way of creating stories that are so applicable to what we're going through as a society, and often times, things we have been afraid to face, and she makes it easier to face them.

Josi said...

Sheesh guys, I guess I owe you all cookies--thank you so much. I'm so glad you all enjoyed it.

Karlene said...

I liked this book too. I don't think we can be careful enough with our children online.

I discovered my kids and a few others in the neighborhood were on Tagged and posting way too much information. I set up a page, pretending to be a 14 year old boy. Posted a comment and when they replied, I revealed my true identity--making the point that if a 40+ year old mother could do it, so could a creepy slimeball.

It was amazing how fast all that personal info disappeared from their sites.