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Hannah doesn't think she'll ever be able to keep up with the rich girls--but that doesn't stop her from trying. In the process, Hannah is forced to come to grips with what she values most: beauty on the inside, or beauty on the outside.
Hannah Johnson is pretty happy as a missionary kid in Papua New Guinea. But when she visits her cousin Vanessa for a summer in America, everything changes.
Vanessa and her friends try to catch Hannah up on all the latest fashions, but in the end, Hannah feels hopeless. She doesn't think she'll ever be able to keep up with the rich girls--but that doesn't stop her from trying.
In the process, Hannah is forced to come to grips with what she values most: beauty on the inside or beauty on the outside.
The sixth book in the teen fiction series TrueColors, Fool's Gold deals with identity, materialism, values, and money. Includes discussion questions.
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I liked this book, even though I'm not a "young adult" anymore!
I recently had the chance to read this book as part of the NavPress blogger review program. This is the 6th book in the TrueColors series from Melody Carlson, and is the story of Hannah Johnson, a missionary kid from Papua New Guinea who is sent to spend the summer with her relatives in California.
Once I got past all of the Australian slang that the character uses and figured out what she was saying, I really liked this book. Hannah is very well written, and she’s a very believable character. I have a number of friends who grew up as missionary kids, and I know they often felt like Hannah does in this book- that they are the product of a different culture, even if their passports say they are American.
The book moves quickly and deals with the topics of materialism and shopping. I know this is a problem for women all over the world- we often shop to make ourselves feel better on a bad day. I like how the book shows how easy it is to fall into the trap of buying “just a little something” here and there, and how quickly that can get out of control. It also addresses the very important topic of focusing more on what’s on the inside than how we look on the outside- another universal topic for women!
This is a book that I would really recommend as a great read for a young woman, and for us not-so-young adult women as well. It's a good story with a lot of truth in it!
I received a copy of this book from NavPress as part of their book reviewer program. I was not compensated for the review in any way and all opinions here are mine and mine alone.
1/29/2010 1:52:33 PM
Great lesson on Value!
I try to think of myself as a very religious young lady. In all I do I strive to be a better person. When looking for books to read for pleasure I like to buy ones that I know others will enjoy or that I know has a great moral lesson. Recently I was sent Fool's Gold to review from Navpress. This book is written by Melody Carlson and reaches out to teens to help teach them morals and help them get through real life teen issues. My younger sister is currently in that phase where she is doing her best to be a young role model of god but also seeing and feeling a lot of external pressures.
In Fool's Gold, you read about a young lady, Hannah. A girl who has grown up a Missionary Kid. Living in low income places while trying to spread the word of God to those in New Guinea. There hasn't been a day that Hannah didn't pray, read the bible, or listen to a sermon. The summer of her 17th birthday Hannah's parents send her to stay with her Uncle, Aunt and Cousin. In California. A place unlike any she has lived in before.
While in California, Hannah struggles trying to fit in and be one of the girls. Her struggles on the inside are so though provoking. She leaves her bible behind telling herself she needs a vacation from God. Religion is no longer the most important thing in Hannah's life. Fitting in and looking the part are a top priority. The girls surrounding her only care about one thing. Money. Nothing is too much and soon Hannah see's herself falling to a place she never envisioned.
What I really love about the book is the hidden messages. Little descriptive images in the book strike a chord in your heart. They have you thinking about your daily lives. Are you putting things ahead of God, ahead of your family?
I really love and highly recommend Melody Carlson's book Fool's Gold from the True Colors Series.
1/15/2010 6:54:53 PM
I like Melody's style in this book. She dug deep to make the story compelling and brought out the real issue of materialism. At first I really wasn't sure what to expect but as Melody took you in deeper to the story you couldn't help but wonder how far was it going to go. I loved Hannah's lingo-- I couldn't help but say "reckon" after a lot.. but perhaps it's not far off from my Canadian idioms lol. I don't think you can read this book and walk away without getting the point. Even though the setting is in LA and talks about extreme money issues, I think it is easy to relate to because at some point or another most of us have had to make the decision of how to deal with money.
1/14/2010 12:44:38 PM
Overall Good Book
Fool's Gold is a fiction novel about a missionary kid, Hannah, from Papua New Guinea who came to California to stay with some rich family members while her parents are home on furlough. As Hannah's parents travel the United States raising support to go back to Papau New Guinea, she tries to fit into a "normal" life with her cousin Vanessa and her friends. Hannah new right away she was different. She didn't dress the same, talk the same, or act the same as those she found in California. She left her Bible in "PNG" as she called it and turned away from God. She wanted to earn money for college, or uni as she called it, so she got a job as a receptionist at her Uncle's Janitorial Company. Instead of saving money, she kept spending. Opening new charge accounts at fancy stores, asking for a draw on her salary from her uncle, and opening bank accounts, she got caught in trying to live up to Vanessa and her popular friend's standards. She could never live up to them no matter how hard she tried, or how much debt she got herself into.
She met a young lady named Jessie, who was a Christian, the only one in her family. She tried to show Hannah how important it was to be herself. Hannah was trying to impress Wyatt, a good looking boy that she met at a party. She began by going surfing with him, with little innocent flirting here and there. She tried alcoholic beverages a couple of times, but she did not like them. She even charged a pair of expensive sunglasses for herself and for Wyatt, trying to impress. It worked. He began to like her, but was it really for her, or the money he thought she had.
After all her debt started piling up and realizing she was in way over her head, she hit rock bottom and broke down. She remembered God and how he is always there for you. She asked for his forgiveness, started working extra hours to pay back her debt, stopped hanging out with the wrong crowd, and started going to church with Jessie.
This story was a good story with a wonderful lesson in it. I think personally it is geared for the upper teen age girl group. This would be wonderful for someone who is facing peer pressure. Some of the lingo is a little hard to follow, but the more you read the more you catch on. Overall it was a good book.
12/31/2009 1:24:07 PM
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Fool's Gold by Melody Carlson
In Fool's Gold, Hannah Johnson was perfectly content as a missionary kid until she spent the summer with her rich relatives. High style and a skimpy budget didn't mix very well, and Hannah finds out how fast money can slip through her fingers when she tries to keep up with Cousin Vanessa and her rich friends. Through her misadventures, Hannah learns a valuable lesson about who brings true peace and happiness into her life.
Melody Carlson speaks to girls in their language. Her books communicate truth through situations real girls face everyday. I have appreciated her edgy style and look forward to reading more of Carlson's books as well as adding them to our church library. As an added bonus, Melody Carlson's books are AR books (if you have school children, you know what this means). So my kids can read her books for credit at school. I love the fact that my children can read good Christian fiction for school.
I am a Blogger Reviewer for NavPress.
12/22/2009 12:02:27 PM