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Reviewed by Samantha Rivera for Readers' Favorite
Seven children made terrible mistakes in their past that cost others their lives and now they are paying for it with their own. These seven children have spent the last five years in reform schools and are now being sent on a pilot program to make a pilgrimage that is intended to change their lives for the better. But with so much baggage and so much hatred within the community, this story presents problems for these children at every turn. Each one is willing to change and each one is struggling to do so but the world around them seems to have other ideas.
I actually read this entire book in one day because I just couldn't put it down. I really liked the way that the characters were all very real. They had made mistakes and they definitely had problems but the things that they had gone through were things many people go through. These kids made the wrong decision to solve their problems but it was easy, reading along, to relate to what they suffered and why they did what they did. Charlie Canning was able to take the story of seven very different kids and turn it into one cohesive novel that really had me intrigued. "The 89th Temple" is a real coming of age story with a great plot-line and some very interesting peeks into the past of some terrified children. I liked the way the characters changed and really grew throughout the story since that made everything even more believable as if these things could really happen to anybody.