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Reviewed by Kimberlee J Benart for Readers' Favorite
The Call of Jeremiah McGill by Joseph Moore is a Christian middle-grade novel set in Missouri in the early 1970s. Eleven-year-old Jeremiah is a preacher’s son in a faith-driven family. Jeremiah is content to read comic books and hang out with friends although he sees the tumultuous political and social events of the times all around him. After Jeremiah misses a curfew, his father has a chat with him, urging him to think about what it means to lead a Christian life and to serve God with his unique gifts. Pondering his father’s words, Jeremiah wonders about his place in the world and what God calls him to be. With comforting reassurances from his mother and advice from his teenage brother, Jeremiah’s journey of discovery begins.
In this debut novel, Joseph Moore gives us an inspirational coming-of-age story that features a protagonist who is utterly charming and engaging. Told in Jeremiah’s voice, the descriptive narrative and dialog reflect his viewpoint and sensibilities. The plot moves at a good pace, and the characters are well-developed. Threads of maturing friendships and a tender tween romance are interwoven with serious social issues and supportive family relationships. My favorite part was Jeremiah’s struggle to write a short youth sermon for a special church event. When his brother advises him to think about what inspires him, Jeremiah replies quite matter-of-factly: “I’m just a kid. I don’t know what inspires me.” The Call of Jeremiah McGill by Joseph Moore is a wonderful tale for middle-grade and young-adult readers alike.