In Jenny B. Jones YA novel, In Between, 16-year-old Katie Parker finds herself a ward of the state when her mother goes to prison. Her father is out of the picture. Just about the time she gets adjusted to a group home, she’s sent to new foster parents in the small town of In Between, Texas.
But Katie doesn’t want a foster home with strangers. Her foster dad is a pastor, of all things. Katie knows next to nothing about churchy ways. Her first plan of action is to make herself as unappealing as possible so James and Millie Scott will send her back to the group home.
Meanwhile, she has multiple misadventures navigating a new school, avoiding friendship with the near-perfect Frances, who has been assigned to help her, making sense of church, and getting into trouble with her foster grandmother, “Mad Maxine.” She suspects her foster parents are hiding some secret sorrow and determines to find out what it is.
Though light and humorous in tone, the book brings out several deep truths without being preachy or didactic. I enjoyed Katie’s outside-looking-in perspective.
Some of my favorite quotes from the book:
My own mother thought variety in your diet meant eating a different Hot Pocket than you did the night before.
I was gonna read my Bible. I’m sure it’s a great book, but I decided I’d just wait for the movie.
Sometimes Christians are like Shakespeare. It’s English, but a totally different version.
I winced at Katie’s reference to God as “the Big G-man,” but she doesn’t know any better.
I don’t normally read YA (Young Adult) books. But the plot attracted me, it was on a Kindle sale, and I had enjoyed a book or two by Jenny B. Jones before. I enjoyed getting to know Katie and thought Jones did a great job telling her story.
This is the first of five books in the Katie Parker Production series.