Fear drives me forward as I rush down a rocky path in Jerusalem, trying to sort things out even as dusk makes it harder to hurry. Am I really an American girl, cast back to the time of Jesus? Or a delusional Jewish teen, plagued with visions of a place called America, thousands of years in the future? I don’t know anymore.
But I do know that something awful is about to happen to my Jesus: they’re going to arrest him tonight, and kill him. No one believes me; they think I’m crazy. So it’s up to me to save him, hurrying down this dark path toward Gethsemane, toward the turning point of all history, the attempt to kill Jesus . . . toward the uncertainty of whether I can actually manage to change the future.
Read the first four chapters of Awakening by Claudia Cangilla McAdam.
"A fast-paced novel packed with truth, tension and a touch of romance." --Denver Catholic Register
FREE FOR EDUCATORS (or anyone): Awakening - Discussion Questions & Chapter Exams
Posted by Bridie on 20th Sep 2016
Good historical fiction book for tweens and teens. My son did not want to read it because he was certain it's a book that only appeals to girls. He read it as a favor and he really likes it. He was surprised there is intrigue and action in the story since he does not always connect the events of Holy Week in that way. This book helped him to view his faith differently--he feels a more personal connection with Jesus and feels that church is not something to avoid or dread so to speak. The time travel gave him a more personal experience. It also helped my son begin to have a stronger understanding of Jesus' love for all.
I enjoyed the book, too. It's thought provoking and inspiring. It helps to better understand or remind us of the societal hierarchy and risks many took for their faith. I am reminded how many today take risks for their faith and ask myself if I would do the same. I hope and pray I would! Good read that I recommend. I gave my copy to my other son's religion teacher with the hopes it will be used during their confirmation year.
Posted by Kathy on 10th Mar 2015
I have used this book over the past 2 years with students in a Grade 7. Since the curriculum for 7th grade in the archdiocese is the life of Jesus Christ, this is the perfect cross curricular novel for Religion and ELA! The characters are realistic, and the looks on my students' faces when they came to numerous realizations are reward in themselves for bringing this exceptional piece to them. I always begin by inviting them to journey with Ronni/Seraphina and come to their own "Awakening" during this Holy Lenten Season. To tie in ELA, when the book is finished I have them write a Resurrection Chapter - keeping Ronni in 1st century Jerusalem until Sunday!
Posted by Julie M. on 13th Jun 2014
I really enjoyed this book overall, and have it on my student bookshelf at the school where I teach middle school religion. The plot is thorough as it leads the reader through the events of Holy Week as seen through the eyes of a modern American teenager. The only caveat I have to the entire story is a caution about the mention of the young girl being a participant at the Last Supper. While this is presented very powerfully and reverently, it is theologically problematic to have Jesus encouraging a girl to stay at the table while He institutes the Eucharist. Perhaps I'm reading more into it than the book requires, but it bothered me enough to detract from the overall moment.
Other than that one moment, I loved the details that were added to interweave story lines from elsewhere (Cleopas mentioning taking leftovers from the Last Supper on his way to Emmaus a few days later--genius!).
As an adult, I enjoyed the book very much, and will be encouraging my older middle school students to read it themselves.
Posted by Sarah Peffer on 13th Feb 2014
I loved reading "Awakening"! The biggest draw for me was how the author put a new spin on a familiar story, which made it seem so unfamiliar and exciting at the same time. It was entertaining trying to figure out where all the characters introduced in the book fit in, and to get a better feel for the less significant characters in the story. Truly powerful, inspirational, and definitely a story I will read again and again!