Title: The Tent by Gary PaulsonFirst published: Oct. 1, 1996
Pages: 96 pages
Genre: Middle Grade, Social Issues
Goodreads Summary: Teenage Steven and his father, Corey, take to the road with a Bible, an old army tent, and less than the best of intentions. Tired of being poor, Steven's father is certain that preaching the Word of the Lord is the easy way to fame and fortune. But just when they've got their act down pat and the money is rolling in, Steven and Corey begin to realize that what they'd originally thought of as a harmless lie is all about avarice and power and, ultimately, guilt.Fourteen year old Steven and his father, Corey, have had some hard knocks that have left poor and abandoned. When Corey decides he is going to be a tent preacher, Steven is horrified and embarrassed, but decides to go along with it hoping that his father will fail quickly and move on to something else. With a stolen Bible, they go from town to town and after a rough start, they realize that Corey is actually very good at delivering his sermons. The two collect a tidy sum in offerings but the money really starts rolling in when they start working with two con men who ‘help’ Corey with faith healings.
While The Tent is story about redemption, it left a bad taste in my mouth. Corey takes advantage of people who were just like him: poor, sick and looking for hope. While the story adequately builds up the con and shows how Corey and Stephen get to the point of defrauding thousands of people out of their money, the redemptive portion is very short and left me feeling unsatisfied.
The Tent is short and easy to read but just not a book for me.
Content: Clean read
My Rating: Disappointing