A Patron Saint for Junior Bridesmaids

by Shelley Tougas

“There’s no Patron Saint for Junior Bridesmaids. How is that possible?”... read more

“There’s no Patron Saint for Junior Bridesmaids. How is that possible?” Mary’s invitation to be in her older cousin’s wedding launches a laugh-out-loud story genuine in its depth and warmth. Mary’s family is about to move to North Dakota to join her dad, who’s been there for a job since their small-town family hardware store failed. Middle school-aged Mary and her younger brother, Luke, are staying with their grandmother and bride-to-be Edie’s family in St. Paul for the summer while their mom, exhausted from holding things together at home alone, joins their dad to find a place they all can live. Mary’s been charged with keeping her mom’s big secret: Luke hasn’t had his First Communion. It makes for some artful dodging on Sundays. Mary also wants to help unassertive Edie, who struggles with social anxiety, have the wedding she wants. And she keeps thinking about Brent, the bully she punched just before the end of the school year. She hates him. What’s harder to acknowledge is that she was cruel to him, too. Through it all, Mary offers earnest and amusing prayers to various saints for help dealing with immediate predicaments and long-term worries. Her Catholic family and other characters are drawn with realism and affection in an entertaining, insightful novel about family, friends, enemies, faith, and compassion. (Ages 9–12)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2017

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