Rating: 3 Stars
I recently had the pleasure of reading two wildly different short stories from author Nancy Springer. This is one of those stories, which is intriguingly entitled The Boy who called God ‘She’.
In this story we are introduced to Derek, the resident bully at a Catholic school. I got the impression of a kid coasting through life and comfortable in his niche of “bully” along with his followers. That is until Julian, a spiky-haired new student arrives, and becomes his newest target.
He is everything they are not, but when Julian refers to God as “she” in Religion class, he sparks Derek’s interest, though it’s well hidden under his “bullying” nature. Julian also earns the ire of his Religion teacher, Mr Weltzer.
At this point, we see a different bullying – a teacher who uses his position to prevent Julian from discussing his views on God in class by sending him to the office for anything he can think of.
Derek and his followers do not cease their bullying either, until Julian stands up for himself – quite spectacularly. Then Derek begins to think about Julian and who he is differently to the extent that he stands up for Julian when he is wrongly accused of an act of vandalism that he perpetrated.
With a strong voice, the story is a quiet gem that asks you to challenge what you think in more ways than one.