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Rapture Practice

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Rapture Practice Cover

ISBN13: 9780316094658
ISBN10: 031609465x
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Sometimes salvation is found in the strangest places: a true story.

Aaron Hartzler grew up in a home where he was taught that at any moment the Rapture could happen. That Jesus might come down in the twinkling of an eye and scoop Aaron and his family up to heaven. As a kid, Aaron was thrilled by the idea that every moment of every day might be his last one on planet Earth.

But as Aaron turns sixteen, he finds himself more attached to his earthly life and curious about all the things his family forsakes for the Lord. He begins to realize he doesn't want the Rapture to happen just yet — not before he sees his first movie, stars in the school play, or has his first kiss. Eventually Aaron makes the plunge from conflicted do-gooder to full-fledged teen rebel.

Whether he's sneaking out, making out, or playing hymns with a hangover, Aaron learns a few lessons that can't be found in the Bible. He discovers that the best friends aren't always the ones your mom and dad approve of, and the tricky part about believing is that no one can do it for you.

In this funny and heartfelt coming-of-age memoir, debut author Aaron Hartzler recalls his teenage journey to find the person he is without losing the family that loves him. It's a story about losing your faith and finding your place and your own truth — which is always stranger than fiction.

Review:

"Hartzler makes his debut with this accessible memoir about coming of age in a very strict Christian family. Aaron, the oldest of four children, has always been a stellar son, following his parents' edicts to the letter — no television, secular music, or movies — even when he doesn't fully understand them. He's also a joyful soldier of the Lord, happy to help his mother lead their neighborhood Good News Club, or lend accompaniment to his preacher father at church services. But when Aaron turns 16, his natural desire to explore the larger world outside his faith, including listening to pop music, dating and experiencing sexual attraction, and experimenting with alcohol, is perceived as rebellion, stirring up big trouble at home and at his ultra-conservative Christian school. Many readers may find the circumstances of Aaron's sheltered upbringing hard to believe. What rings very true, however, is the author's thoughtful search for answers to his heart's biggest questions, and his pragmatism and sense of humor on the journey. Ages 15-up. Agent: Michael Bourret, Dystel & Goderich Literary Management. (Apr.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Review:

"His story emphasizes discovery more than rebellion, and the narrative is carefully constructed to show and not judge the beliefs of his family and their community....Hartzler's laugh-out-loud stylings range from the subtle to the ridiculous....A hilarious first-of-its-kind story that will surely inspire more." Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

Review:

"Aaron Hartzler's memoir will captivate teens looking for a solid coming-of-age story grounded in strange truths about growing up in a religious family....Hartzler's ear for teenage dialogue is spot-on." Shelf Awareness

Review:

"[Aaron Hatzler's] memoir is appealing because of his honesty, and forthrightness...clear and lively." School Library Journal

Review:

"What rings very true...is the author's thoughtful search for answers to his heart's biggest questions, and his pragmatism and sense of humor on the journey." Publishers Weekly

Review:

"Hartzler writes with a keen eye for detail...he is equally sure-footed describing his inner turmoil....One of the best things, however, is how lovingly Hartzler portrays his parents, even as they anger him....Readers will hope for a sequel." Booklist

Review:

"Humorous and entertaining." VOYA

Review:

"This heartfelt memoir [and] compelling story...will speak volumes to adolescents." The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

About the Author

Aaron Hartzler grew up in Kansas City, mainly on the Missouri side. A writer and an actor, he splits his time between Los Angeles and Palm Springs, where he lives with his boyfriend, Nathan, and their two dogs, Charlie and Brahms. Rapture Practice is his first book. Aaron invites you to visit him online at www.aaronhartzler.com.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

Beverly B, January 27, 2014 (view all comments by Beverly B)
Rapture Practice is a coming-of-age memoir with heart, humor, tears and wisdom. It is, also, an earnest and insightful look in to the culture of fundamentalist Evangelical Southern Baptists. As a child, Aaron Hartzler loved his preacher father's life lessons, his mother's beautiful gospel voice and his church family. At the age of eleven, a sermon by a visiting missionary opens his eyes to the inconsistencies, mercilessness and intolerance of his family's beliefs. He begins to doubt his faith. As he goes through adolescence, he sees his life path heading in a direction that his family will despise. He worries that he will be forced to choose between being true to himself or being a part of his family. Aaron is blessed to have a very loving and close family, but their inflexibility and harsh righteousness create a huge wall between Aaron and his parents. He feels he must lie and be deceitful to save his sanity. Aaron's rebelliousness is a little worrisome, but is the kind of rebelliousness most parents of teens expect, unless the parents are fundamentalist Evangelicals who expect complete submission and unquestioning obedience. Aaron's love for his family comes through strongly in his story, so strong it weakens the story. Some events feel a little white-washed. He also leaves the story incomplete. The reader does not learn when Aaron decides to stand up for his authentic self and follow his life path rather than submit to his parents' expectations, how that news was received by his family, or what his relationship is with family today. Does this mean a sequel is coming?
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
Courtesy of Mother Daughter Book Club com, May 22, 2013 (view all comments by Courtesy of Mother Daughter Book Club com)
Aaron Hartzler grew up in Kansas City as the oldest son in a strict Baptist family. From early on he was happy to help as his mom spread the word to neighborhood children about the rapture, when Jesus would return to Earth and his followers would be lifted up. Yet, he also questioned the constraints he lived under. He wasn’t allowed to see movies, listen to most music or read books that his parents questioned. He couldn’t believe that his grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins, who had no such restrictions, would go to hell for their actions.

As Hartzler grew, he began to rebel against the tight rules his parents asked him to adhere to without question. He writes about his experience, and his efforts to maintain a relationship with his parents while finding his own path toward religious belief in his memoir, Rapture Practice.

Hartzler writes with candor about the Christian school he attended when he was growing up, the friendships he formed there, and the ways he got around his parents’ rules. This is his story, which means he doesn’t speculate about or describe how his brothers and sister reacted to the same rules as he did or tell scandalous stories about teachers and administrators. He seems to accept the fact that some people do well with the rules he was subject to while sharing the reasons he wasn’t one of them.

Rapture Practice is a thoughtful story about Hartzler’s journey, and while I would have liked to know more about how his decisions affected his relationship with his family as he became an adult, I was thoroughly engrossed with story.

The publisher provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780316094658
Author:
Hartzler, Aaron
Publisher:
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Subject:
Children s-Reference Family and Genealogy
Subject:
Children s Young Adult-Biography
Publication Date:
20130431
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Language:
English

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Related Subjects

Children's » Nonfiction » Biographies
Children's » Reference » Family and Genealogy
Children's » Religion » Christianity » General
Children's » Religion » General
Children's » Science Fiction and Fantasy » General
History and Social Science » Politics » General
Languages » ESL » General
Young Adult » General
Young Adult » Nonfiction » Biographies
Young Adult » Nonfiction » Teen Issues

Rapture Practice Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$12.95 In Stock
Product details pages Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - English 9780316094658 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Hartzler makes his debut with this accessible memoir about coming of age in a very strict Christian family. Aaron, the oldest of four children, has always been a stellar son, following his parents' edicts to the letter — no television, secular music, or movies — even when he doesn't fully understand them. He's also a joyful soldier of the Lord, happy to help his mother lead their neighborhood Good News Club, or lend accompaniment to his preacher father at church services. But when Aaron turns 16, his natural desire to explore the larger world outside his faith, including listening to pop music, dating and experiencing sexual attraction, and experimenting with alcohol, is perceived as rebellion, stirring up big trouble at home and at his ultra-conservative Christian school. Many readers may find the circumstances of Aaron's sheltered upbringing hard to believe. What rings very true, however, is the author's thoughtful search for answers to his heart's biggest questions, and his pragmatism and sense of humor on the journey. Ages 15-up. Agent: Michael Bourret, Dystel & Goderich Literary Management. (Apr.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Review" by , "His story emphasizes discovery more than rebellion, and the narrative is carefully constructed to show and not judge the beliefs of his family and their community....Hartzler's laugh-out-loud stylings range from the subtle to the ridiculous....A hilarious first-of-its-kind story that will surely inspire more."
"Review" by , "Aaron Hartzler's memoir will captivate teens looking for a solid coming-of-age story grounded in strange truths about growing up in a religious family....Hartzler's ear for teenage dialogue is spot-on."
"Review" by , "[Aaron Hatzler's] memoir is appealing because of his honesty, and forthrightness...clear and lively."
"Review" by , "What rings very true...is the author's thoughtful search for answers to his heart's biggest questions, and his pragmatism and sense of humor on the journey."
"Review" by , "Hartzler writes with a keen eye for detail...he is equally sure-footed describing his inner turmoil....One of the best things, however, is how lovingly Hartzler portrays his parents, even as they anger him....Readers will hope for a sequel."
"Review" by , "Humorous and entertaining."
"Review" by , "This heartfelt memoir [and] compelling story...will speak volumes to adolescents."
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