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In this winner of the Coretta Scott King Honor, bestselling and award-winning author Nikki Grimes uses free-verse poetry to powerfully tell the story of two boys, living in different times and lands, who both struggle with their faith as they watch their families fall apart. Sam’s father was always a strong Christian, and so when his dad leaves Sam and his mom for another woman, and then announces his new wife is pregnant, Sam feels abandoned—even by God. Ishmael knows he’s the first son of Abraham, and feels cherished by his father because of this position. But when visitors tell Abraham and his cruel wife, Sarah, that the real promised child will arrive soon, Ishmael is worried—and when Isaac arrives, Abraham becomes distant. Even Abraham’s God seems to be leaving Ishmael behind. Sam and Ishmael’s stories and strong poetic voices connect to create a powerful narrative structure in Grimes’ story of faith, heartache, and forgiveness.

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