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Sorry this has taken me two months to publish - what can I say?
I always enjoy our membership when asked to share. this listserv remains a
my favorite treasure on, what is sometimes unruly, the  www. :-)
Following is the collection of 35 responses I received:

you can find many reviews of his books at amazon.com

I have several Frank Peretti books. Haven't read them but trusted
adults here say they are good.  I, too, am asked for
Christian Fiction, and I have found it difficult to find reliable reviews
same. I  have purchased a few titles from Bethany
House Publishers to try to meet this need, but have not yet rec'd them yet
give you an opinion.

We have several Christian fiction series in our public library, Peretti's
among them.  The kids like his Cooper Kids Adventures, also the Mandie
mystery series by Leppard, The Underground series by Elmer (Holocaust
resistance), the Seven Sleepers (sci-fi) series by Gilbert Morris (Moody
Press), and Janette Oke's younger level titles.  If I am going to have
witches and ghosts and controversial YA fiction, I figure I can balance
with some Christian fiction titles.  These have all been suggested by my

Watch Booklist.  They have done a bib of Christian fiction for children
can probably find it archived on their web site.  They do an adult column
quite regularly.

I hear ALA push for no censorship, yet I feel we censor out Christian
I'm in a conservative, grade 7-8 middle school.  Although I haven't read
Peretti's work, several of my students and their parents have.  I was
unable to
locate any reviews, so I'm basing my opinion on what others whom I respect
said, and they seem to really like his work.  I've personally purchased
books from Perma-Bound, Follett, etc. originally published by Christian
publishing houses.  I enjoy reading this genre, and my students seem to,
I've never received any complaints about purchasing this genre.  I figure
if I
purchase vampire and other horror books, this genre can be represented,

I also have requests from time to time for Christian fiction or even
Christian perspective books, but it is next to impossible to find
reviews on them. Frank Peretti is well-known in Christian readers'
circles, and his books would probably be reviewed in Booklist or
Publisher's Weekly as well as Christianity Today.

I think they would be appropriate recreational reading additions to a
multi-culturally diverse population. They are very Christian. Fiction
works dealing with angels and demons fighting it out right around us -
demons of arrogance, pride, etc - the angels get strength from the
prayers offered by the Christians to God. Interesting. Perretti creates
visual pictures that are stunning.

I have not read Peretti's books, but I think it would be an excellent
 The Christian Library Journal has wonderful professional reviews.  They
probably have site where you could request a complimentary copy for
Other good writers of the Christian fiction genre you should purchase ate
and Bodie Thoene, Janet Oke, Francine Rivers. Their books are well
interesting, and wholesome without being preachy.  I think we in public
do our students a disservice not include this genre in our collections.

I have books in my high school collection by Peretti, Oke, and
LaHaye (Left Behind series).  Although I am in a public school too, I know
there are students who appreciate having books by these authors available.
The LaHaye series was so popular last year among my 8th graders that I had
to read it myself.  I have had high school students asking for it and
somewhat pleasantly surprised that we have it.   haven't had any
and it's been somewhat surprising to see which students check them out.
know it's a difficult decision.

Another thought if you have misgivings for some reason (can't imagine what
would be), if we buy books on the supernatural, witchcraft, horror, what
you, to satisfy the tastes of patrons interested those topics, we are
in our jobs not to provide materials that appeal to other tastes as well.

Several of Peretti's books are reviewed in Barbara Walker's _Developing
Christian Fiction Collections for Children and Adults: Selection Criteria
and Core Collections_.

His work is Christian suspense.  He is well worth the money.  He doesn't
seem to be a head-banger with a Bible, if that is your concern.

I have read one of Piretti's books, This Present Darkness, and I
enjoyed it very much.  It deals exclusively with the concepts of good and
evil, angels and deamons.  However, it is no more "preachy" than Grishom's
The Testament.

        In our library we have several copies of the book, as well as
of The Left Behind series that is wildly popular right now.  Honestly, I
more comfortable checking out christian fiction, than books on the occult
the gothic stuff that is currently in vogue.  I don't think we as
should waiver at purchasing a christian fiction book, especially if a
student has requested it. If you're not comfortable purchasing it, perhaps
you could check it out from the public library and read it first.

This author would be acceptable for your school. Booklist has
reviews of Christian fiction each month. I was a public school librarian
for thirty years.

I've read the first three of his books (I think one is This Present
Darkness).  I believe they've been reviewed in Booklist and perhaps SLJ
several years back - maybe 5 or so.  I have included some Christian
in my collection here at a MS, but not these as they are HS or adult.  I
thought the ones I read were well done - suspense stories focusing on the
conflict of good and evil and taking a stand on what you believe to be
right.  I think we need to present varying viewpoints in our collections
NF and fiction books.

We have almost all of his works in our college library, but I think he
be appropriate for high school libraries also.  You could probably get
reviews of this works, especially his newest, on either
http://www.amazon.com or http://www.borders.com

We have a number of Peretti's books.  We are a more
conservative, protestant community so his books get
circulated quite a bit.  Haven't read any of his books
personally but have had it recommended by friends.
Have you checked Amazon.com for a review of his books?

I've read 3 of his books on my own (meaning I read them with the
intention of reading a "grown-up" book for my own enjoyment), and I
liked them, but I have to admit, thinking of including them in a school
collection makes me pause.

They are kind of like Jeannette Okes morphed with Stephen King.  In This
Present Darkness and Piercing the Darkness (which go together), the
setting is a small town that is divided over what to teach in the public
schools.  Sounds benign enough -- BUT he writes of two battles going on
at the same time.  The first is the physical concrete world of the small
town and the human characters.  The second is the supernatural battle
raging in the same place and the same time between God's warrior angels
and Satan's legions of demons.  It has been 4 or 5 years since I read
these, and I can still picture in my mind the graphic vision he drew of
one character who is murderously angry and going to "get even," and WE
(the readers) are told about the oily, leathery, bat-like creature with
red glowing eyes clinging to the person's back (riding, as it were), and
with every hateful thought the person entertains, the demon's claws sink
deeper into the person's spiritual being.

I guess my concern would be for the kid who is waffling, or in the
middle.  The kid who is sure of his/her beliefs and/or salvation would
handle these OK, as would the kid who doesn't believe in any of the
supernatural things.  But for the kid who isn't sure yet what he
believes, I think this would present pretty heavy and graphic thoughts
and images.  Don't you love "judgement calls" like this ??
The Oath is more like classic Stephen King with an evil creature that
terrorizes (and owns souls one by one) another small town because of an
oath sworn by one of the town's founding fathers.  This might be a
"safer" one to start with and see what the general reaction is.

Being in a Catholic school, I do have Frank Peretti's books on my
shelves. I feel lucky in not being "afraid" to have Christian fiction on
my shelves. When my daughter was still in public school, I felt her
choice of books wasn't that good in that the Christian fiction was
left out completely. We had to go to the bookstore and buy them for
her to read. Lately, the local public library has been getting more and
Christian fiction since their clientel has been asking for it. I know of
one public school librarian here on LM-NET that has been getting
Christian fiction because she has students asking for it. Maybe you
could find out if there are students who are interested in
it....Personally, I feel it's censorship NOT to have some Christian
fiction. They are bonafide books just any other bestseller!
Another 2 authors to consider are Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins, the
authors of the "Left Behind" series, both the adult versions and the
"Left Behind Kids". Those would go over very well, I'm sure, with the
kids who would read Peretti's books.
I've rambled enough here. Sorry!

I think VOYA has a column to review Christian fiction...I don't remember
sure, but I think that is the journal.  I think it's a once or twice a
kindof thing.  Web site is VOYA.com .  Peretti is an extremely popular
fictionwriter and would certainly be reviewed there.  I hope I have given
you the
right magazine. If it isn't VOYA, I know there is a periodical that has
fiction reviews.

Frank Peretti's fiction represents a very narrow band of Christian
thinking.  He does not even represent all fundamentalists.  From a
point of view, he writes bad fiction.  It is very trite and stereotypical
(all good vs. all evil).  It politically very rightwing even sto
conservative Republicans.
     I teach in a Christian school and do not have his books in the
simply because they are not good fiction.  I don't see much reason to have
them in a public school library.  What possible connection could they have
to your curriculum?

I believe that his books deal with the end of the world in a
"Christian" perspective. These novels also tend to show the spiritual
"battle" waged between Christ and Satan.

This is a very good author of contemporary Christian literature.  He
for basically two age groups - ages 9 to 12 and adults.  I have read
several of
books myself and find them to not be offensive or pushy in the least.
They are
thought provoking in the Christian sense.  For students who come from
literature and media are closely monitored, these will add titles to their
acceptable reading lists.  I have included his books below and their age
They would make good additions to your collection.

I have Peretti's books in my HS collection, along with some other
Fiction" titles.  I believe that this genre should be included in every
public school library as a service to those patrons that read these -- the
same as providing any other genre.

Peretti's books are wonderful.  You can find them at Amazon.com as well as
at Barnes and Noble.  As for finding reviews, I believe you should be able
to find all you need at Amazon.com.  (They are opening a new "Christian
Store" within Amazon.com and I haven't checked it out to see whether you
link from one to the other easily.)

If you watch Booklist magazine reviews, you will occasionally find reviews
on Christian authors.  I know of no site dedicated to reviews of Christian
materials.  (If I had time, etc., I'd do it myself -- but, you know!!!)

Our library has several of Peretti's works.  Some were in the
collection when I arrived.  Seeing that they were enjoyed by many
students, I added more.  I'm not aware of reviews of his work.
   I'm planning to buy some of the Left Behind series this year.  I
have not yet read them myself, but my husband and daughter have read
them avidly.  I see this not as pushing religion, but as meeting
readers' demand.
   Sometimes Booklist has a column of reviews of Christian fiction.
I've marked books to buy, but the budget wouldn't stretch to order

We are a high school of 1550 students, and Frank Peretti is in the
collection.  A few students always read his books.  Tim LeHaye is in
this category too.  The juniors are currently in a literary project that
requires criticisms of the work, and one of the students is reading
Peretti. Critical reviews are hard to find.  Sometimes there are reviews
in a general magazine index (Proquest) or the Internet (evaluate
carefully). These are not critical reviews however.
Luckily for us, we are previewing the Gale Group for one month through
the Indiana Cooperative, and many lesser known authors are listed in
several of the series.  It is wonderful.
I've read and enjoyed Peretti and LeHaye. A 9th grade student encouraged
me to purchase Oke's books which have a Christian theme.  We're diverse
so while several students really enjoy these kinds of books, we have
many students who have no interest at all.

Booklist from ALA has reviewed Christian fiction
and I've bought some for our public high school.
They might be a helpful source.

Last year, I questioned the listserv about buying the Left Behind Series
Someone wrote back that it was much like Peritti.  I decided then that it
time I
read a Frank Perritti book.  Well, I love them.  They are similar to The
Letter by Lewis.
But I wander off the subject, I have put both series in the Library.  The
series and the Left Behind Series.  But, I work in a small school in the
Belt.  The students really like the Left Behind series better.

have read that one and several others. I  don't think there would
be a problem, they are not preachy but are stories about spiritual
I imagine that most people have some students who would enjoy how thought
provoking they are.

Last year Booklist magazine published a list of Christian fiction books
they recommended.  I purchased the Peretti book and several students have
checked it out.  Why couldn't you have Christian fiction.... do you carry
murder mysteries???? Just teasing - I understand where you're coming from,
but I feel the high school media center should be a repository of
information for all students.  Since you are not requiring that students
read material they might find objectionable, simply tell them that if they
find a book objectionable, please return it and help them find something
more suitable.  There is a portion of our population who enjoy reading
books and I found none of them too smarmy - if you have kids asking for
these books, I say go for it.

I found citation about Frank Peretti in Infotrac.  There I found 9
citations, book reviews in Booklist. Might be useful.

We have several of his books and they are very popular in our school.  We
the Left Behind series, which is a favorite with a lot of the kids.  Our
is located in a small town in South Carolina - approximately 800 students
in 4

My students enjoy the Peretti books.  He really makes you think and they
love the Christian fiction.  I don't personally enjoy horror, but THE OATH
is wonderful.

I am in a suburban high school of 1800+, fairly diverse, and have 3 of the
titles on my shelves--This Present Darkness, Piercing the Darkness, & The
They have been fairly popular and no one has expressed any objection to
I have recommended them to a number of students and I usually mention that
is considered a Christian author, but that the books also could be

I have read all three of the books and have truly enjoyed each one.  These
are, essentially, good vs. evil stories.  The first 2 of the above titles
first books Peretti wrote and his Christian foundation is quite clear.  I
thought of it sometimes as an almost "hit you over the head" method of
message.  The Oath, however, shows his obvious development & maturation as
and presents the message in a much more subtle way.  While I like all
books, I
really enjoyed this one more than the first two.  Also, I have asked
students who have read these books to tell me if they liked them, and most
them said they did.  No one said they didn't like them, but a couple of
just did
not finish reading the book they checked out.

Finally, I have not read anything else by Peretti, although I believe he
has a
fifth book out.  I am looking forward to reading them and probably will
them in
my library as well.  One note I want to mention:  When I read The Oath (it
first one I read of his), one of the things that struck me the most about
was the refreshing lack of profanity and explicit sexual scenes, and the
so engaging and spine-tingling that it did not need those missing
be one more reason to offer it to our students.


                   Kristel A. Mayberry, Information Manager
                   Central High School, Omaha, Nebraska, USA
                     voice:402.557.3316 / fax:402.557.3339


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