Meet Kate. Her young father recently died of a heart-attack, she no longer believe in her church, her mother refuses to let her stray away from “the righteous path,” and to top it all off, she’s just moved to a new high school in a new state. Sound overwhelming? Well, it is—at least for Kate.
Kate and her mother have always been devout member of their church, but Kate’s father refused to take part in institutionalized religion; his creed lied in his literature. Now, after her father’s death, Kate’s beliefs are faltering and the questioning begins. Moving away to Maine exposes Kate to a less fundamental, more liberal church and various different perspectives. In addition, Kate is exposed to more tolerant people and can begin having a social life outside of her old church groups.
But the path isn’t easy. Overcome with the guilt associated with questioning your religion and the death of her father, Kate struggles to discover her own beliefs along with making friends and finding love.
Converting Kate is a seemingly-controversial novel. The heavy biblical references might seem intimidating at first, but Beckie Weinheimer stretches the biblical concept to create questions that can be applied to any dogma. Weinheimer did a superb job in illustrating the need for young adults to re-evaluate their beliefs and question their conditioning. I recommend this novel for juniors and seniors in high school because that is the age students seek to find their own complex identity and understand themselves. Kate is a perfect reflection of the anxieties young adults experience and an even better example of how to handle life’s struggles.