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Author: Paul Kercal
Published By: Darton, Longman and Todd (London)
Pages: 112
Price: £7.95
ISBN: 0 232 52752 0

Reviewed by Martin Hills.

Messenger is a book that looks into the lives of a group of young people as they interact over the Internet via a chat room. The stories of this group of friends unfold via chat room style conversations; we see their pain and anger, their friendship and their joys played out over the Internet.

When I picked up this book, my heart sank, as I do not enjoy trying to read text style language! As I flicked through the pages I found myself uninspired to read the book, but I had totally misjudged this book and its point. I am glad that I read it! In fact, once I started to read the book I became so absorbed by the characters and their issues that I read it right through in about 1 hour.

I found the book easy to read. There are places where multiple conversations are taking place and your eyes flick between columns of text, but that actually helps you understand the way in which young people communicate with each other.

The plot itself is relatively simple, a group of teenagers struggling with friendship and relationship issues, family break ups and general life, and the notion of the messenger (God) breaking into their lives is straightforward, but well done.

I think young people would enjoy reading this book (indeed I have passed the book on to my own teenage children to read) because they would engage with the characters and the style very easily, but I wonder if at ?7.95 it might be a little too expensive. I think there are other books within that price range that might tempt young people to part with their money more readily!

Having said that, it might be worth having a copy on your bookshelf to loan out to your young people, especially if they are struggling with some of these issues.

Martin Hills

Youth Minister - Central Baptist Church, Chelmsford

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You are reading Issue 46 of Ministry Today, published in July 2009.

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