This first coming-of-age book in the "Becoming Beka" series by Sarah Anne Sumpolec is published by Moody Publishers.
Masquerade is written for kids ages 13 to 18. The age range reflects readability and not necessarily content appropriateness.
Nine months after Beka's mom is killed in a car accident, Beka still suffers from bad dreams, insomnia and emotions she can't control. She continues to push her Christian family away in an attempt to hide her secret that she is not a Christian and angry. She feels isolated and alone. A new girl at school, Lori, makes friends with her, and Beka is coaxed by an old friend to try out for a play. She gets a part. Beka refuses to tell anyone what is going on emotionally. She makes wrong choices that cause her dad to take her to a psychiatric hospital for help. She explains that she is riddled with guilt for pushing her mom away to hide that she was only pretending to be a Christian. Her dad tells her that her mom knew and prayed for her. A friend's foster mom tells Beka what it means to be a Christian, and Beka gives her life to Jesus. At a New Year's Eve party, Beka realizes that she has feelings for a boy, Mark. By the end of the book, Beka is confident that God is in control of her life.
Lori's mom, Megan, explains to Lori and Beka what it means to be a Christian. Lori believes instantly because she can see God through her foster parents' lives. One of the themes in The Masquerade is God's forgiveness. Beka had made bad choices in her life, including pretending to be a Christian. She wonders if her sins are too big for God to forgive. Megan assures her that God is big enough. All through the book, Beka's family lives out their Christian faith as they attempt to help Beka through her anger at God. They show true concern and do their best to continually forgive her as she hurts them. Mark, the boy she is interested in, claims to be a Christian when Beka confronts him. Mark is living a moral life externally. Beka asks him if he is ashamed of being a Christian.
Beka's dad is a godly, Christian man doing his best to raise his family as a single parent, amid his grief over his wife's death. His decisions are based on godly principles and on prayer. He forgives Beka when she makes mistakes and tells her how much she is loved. Lori's foster mother, Megan, also shows godly authority. She is available at any time for Beka and Lori and eventually leads them both to the Lord.
A girl asks Beka if she and Mark have hooked up. She is surprised that Beka has never made out with anyone. Beka attends two parties where she gets drunk. Boys and girls are making out at these parties.
If your children have read this book or someone has read it to them, consider these discussion topics:
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