(Book review) Just Sayin’


Reviewed by: Kayla Houvenagle is a professional writing student at Taylor University.

 


Introduction

TitleJust Sayin’

AuthorDandi Daley Mackall

Publisher: Tyndale House

Publication Date: 2017

Format: Print book

Length: 179 pages

OVERVIEW

Mackall’s Just Sayin’ is a collage of letters, texts, phone calls, and notes sent between and among “almost step” siblings Cassie Callahan, Nick Barton, and little sister Julie Barton. The kids’ parents were all set to get married, but then (without warning) they abruptly called off the wedding.  Now, in the aftermath, Nick’s dad is dragging him and little Julie all across the county, whereas poor Cassie has been “deposited” with her grandmother because Cassie’s mom has decided to move to another city to begin a new career.  After having so looked forward to being siblings, the trio of kids use various forms of media to try to stay in touch and to figure out why the wedding was cancelled and if they still have a possible future together as a new family.      

Just Sayin’ features letters typed and written with distinct handwriting, and envelopes and pens left on top of the letters for a realistic feel. Many similar elements add to the “you are there” experience of reading the book.  The plotline provides an abundance of laugh-out-loud moments, courtesy in part of the kids’ love of joking insults. Nevertheless, many serious topics, ranging from the sanctity of marriage to where to draw the line between funny and hurtful jokes, are explored. The innocence of the youngsters provides honesty and transparency for examining the behavior of Christian adults.

ASSESSMENT

Rating (1 to 5)

5 stars

Suggested Audience

Although primarily written for kids, and primarily from kids’ perspectives, Mackall has written a book that all ages can connect with. It presents the added perspectives of grandparents, a youth pastor, the parents, and one comedian. Due to the variety of perspectives, adults can relate to the story, and kids can get a glimpse into the strange minds of older folks.      

Christian Impact

God is a very real presence in Just Sayin’. Cassie writes to her youth pastor, asking hard and relevant questions about marriages and break-ups. She also writes several letters to God himself. The question of when fun and games turns into bullying is also asked with God in mind; and various quotes from the Bible are used throughout the book.



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About Evangelical Church Library Association

The Evangelical Church Library Association, founded in 1970, is a fellowship of Christian churches, schools, and individuals.

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