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Last Updated on May 7, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 159

Every person must make personal decisions about God, religion, and church rituals sometime while working toward maturity. In this story Pete attends church even though his parents do not. He realizes that he has a searching need for spiritual fulfillment when a transient revival preacher comes to town and calls on Pete to help him save sinners. Pete becomes so absorbed by this preacher that he is willing to leave his parents and follow the call. Since Pete's parents do not share his zeal, he is at times ashamed that they do not attend church and he feels an obligation to get them to change. His being born again causes trouble between Pete and his best friend, Rufus, who claims to be an atheist. Ultimately, Pete is betrayed by his idol, and Rylant takes readers through the whole ordeal so that they can feel the turmoil and the passion of religious zeal. It is an absorbing and rewarding narrative.

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