By KAITLIN KLEIN
Margo lives in a time when believing in God is illegal and following any religion gets you executed by conscious dismantlement (the taking apart of your body, piece by piece, while you can’t move but are fully aware). Any flaw detected in an unborn baby is an automatic forced abortion. Couples must “register” – secular society’s process in lieu of the sacrament of marriage – and must have two … and only two … children. And once you turn 18, you must pass your Sorting, a series of mental and physical tests, or otherwise, you are sent to be dismantled (unconscious, if not discovered as a Believer) so other adults can use your body parts if needed.
Margo has wonderful parents and a boyfriend she plans to marry; and she dreams for the life ahead of her — except there are two things that keep her from a shallow view of life: she’s a Believer, and she knows she will fail her Sorting.
“I am Margaret,” the first book in a six-book series of the same name by Corinna Turner, is a thrilling dystopian novel that held my attention from page one through all six books. Eoin Colfer, author of the “Artemis Fowl” collection, praises “I am Margaret,” saying it has “Great style … like the ‘Hunger Games.’” It is thrilling, full of suspense and has a brilliant storyline and memorable and relatable characters. It is a great read for all ages — teens and up (note that there is mature language and scenarios), and I believe the story would grab and hold anyone’s attention, no matter one’s religion or political views.
And the best part is the story’s underlying morals. Many good books are exciting and fun to read, but have underlying tones of society today — a society that, as we know, downplays the crucial role of the family, does not respect life and belittles belief in God. This book, however, has an appealing story but also encompasses Margo’s world as a Catholic. Chastity, modesty, willing the good of the other, remaining steadfast in faith, and the respect for all life are all important to the “good guy” and the “winning team.” As the reader gets to know and care about the main characters, it is hard to dismiss the power of God; the evils of abortion; and the tearing apart of the family.
I’m excited for my kids to read it when they’re old enough. The values I want to instill in them are emphasized and are experienced in similar ways that they may be in real life: Margo is ridiculed at times for her different beliefs (and has to keep some hidden to preserve her life), but she is courageous and selfless. I also recommend the entire series to adults. Themes of love, forgiveness, conversion and bravery not only add to the quality of the story but encouraged me to examine my own life and how I’m living out my Catholic faith.
I could nearly write a book about these books. I hope you don’t just take my word for it, but check them out yourself.