A book review for parents
This coming-of-age book is the fourth in the "Becoming Beka" series by Sarah Anne Sumpolec and is published by Moody Publishers.
The Reveal is written for kids ages 13 to 18. The age range reflects readability and not necessarily content appropriateness.
Beka goes to Haiti on a missions trip to spend more time with Josh but ends up spending very little time with him. He leaves for college, and she starts her senior year. When Mr. Madison tells his girls, Beka and Lucy, that he and Gabby are going to start dating, Beka uses this opportunity to get her dad to relent and let her date Mark. Mai befriends Lucy and tells her that the only way to popularity is through sleeping with boys. Beka rescues Lucy from inappropriate situations a couple of times, but Lucy still thinks Mai is her friend. Mai wants the editor's job at the school paper, which is Beka's position. Mai threatens to reveal Beka's secret about having spent time in a psych hospital if Mai doesn't get her way. Beka's friend Lori catches her dad looking at porn and doesn't know what she should do. As Beka and Mark are dating, he tries to get too physical with Beka. She is uncomfortable with aggression. While contemplating all her problems at the beach, Beka ends up rescuing a friend, Gretchen, from committing suicide. Mai eventually reveals Beka's secret, and Mark breaks up with her. Josh and Beka exchange letters. Gabby's brother and sister-in-law come to town over the holidays and listen to Beka's song at the holiday concert. Gabby's brother likes it enough that he asks her to make a demo for his company. Mr. Madison proposes to Gabby on Christmas. Beka visits her mom's grave and understands that she is beginning to open up to love others and to let them love her.
Beka is a Christian but struggles with her day-to-day choices and doing things God's ways. Beka works on forgiving her mother and others. Beka realizes how upset she has been at her mom for dying and how she has been taking that anger out on Gabby. Beka asks for forgiveness from God and Gabby.
Beka's father consistently is portrayed as attempting to do what is right for his family. When he is confused about a situation, he chooses not to make an immediate decision but rather prays about it before he decides.
Other Belief Systems
Mark says he is a Christian, but he also states that Beka is way too serious in her beliefs. He believes that he can be a Christian but still have worldly "fun."
Mark and Beka kiss throughout the book. He pushes Beka further in their physical relationship. When they finally are permitted to date, Mark tells Beka that since they are dating, they are allowed to do more than just kiss. They don't have to have sex, but they can do a lot of other stuff. Beka does not agree. When Mark and Beka go to Mai's party, there is a make-out scene between Mai and Lance. Beka also finds Lucy in a bedroom with Ethan. Nothing has happened, yet, but Lucy believes that in order to be popular, she needs to have sex. David, Lori's dad, is caught four different times watching pornographic movies on his computer. When confronted, he is angry because he does not think that pornography is a big deal.
If your children have read this book or someone has read it to them, consider these discussion topics:
- Mark, Beka and Josh have different ideas about what is physically appropriate.
What does Mark believe?
What does Beka believe?
What does Josh believe?
What do you believe?
- Do you know people who think like Mark? Beka? Josh?
What were the consequences of their actions?
- Why did Gretchen decide to kill herself?
Have you ever felt that way?
Who is someone you could talk to if you ever feel that way?
- What does David, Lori's dad, struggle with?
How does the world view pornography?
What do you believe about pornography?
Is it something you struggle with?
How does pornography change the way people see things?
Book reviews cover the content, themes and worldviews of fiction books, not their literary merit, and equip parents to decide whether a book is appropriate for their children. A book's inclusion does not constitute an endorsement by Focus on the Family.