The Janis Project

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Long after she’s taken off on her ten-speed, I was still sitting there, trying to put new locks on my Janis doors. “Who asked for her opinion?” I tried that one. “He doesn’t really like me. He’s just being nice because his father’s a preacher”. I gave that one a go, too. Neither one of them worked. In fact, I had the slightly scary feeling that none of my doors had locks on them anymore.

Book: The Janis Project by Nancy Rue, Crossway books, 1988
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Target Audience: Girls 13-19
Subjects: Friendship, dating relationships, bullying, Faith in God
Summary: Janis has always been shy, painfully she. Some think she’s mute. When she and her dad move to a new town though, she gets discovered. The coach and some kids in her class find out that she’s a great runner and recruit her for the track team before she can say no. Soon she finds multiple people determined to break through her barriers and become her friend. One boy in particular is so successful that Janis is developing a serious crush on him. But when she opens her heart, he rejects it. She of course feels devastated that this was the result of her finally opening up to someone and let down by God as well! It takes a track accident and a serious illness to make her rethink her decisions.
Notes: This is an old book but a good one. It’s the story of a girl who as she describes it has doors “locked” inside of her and the story of what happens when people break through those locks and knock the whole door down. It’s also a look about having faith in God even when trials come. One of her new friends is convinced that if you are walking with Christ nothing bad can happen to you. So when trouble strikes, he sees It as God rejecting him and abandoning him. Janis has to reevaluate her own beliefs about God and her decisions to distance herself from others. It’s a very good look at two highschoolers wrestling with faith in the midst of ordinary trials such as illness, dating relationships gone bad and bullying.
Recommendation Scale: 4.5/5
Reviewer: J:-)mi

James 1:2-4 –Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.


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