By Pete Hautman
(Simon Pulse, Paperback, 9781416908166, 198pp.)
Publication Date: November 2005
List Price: $10.99*
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"Why mess around with Catholicism when you can have your own customized religion?"
Fed up with his parents' boring old religion, agnostic-going-on-atheist Jason Bock invents a new god -- the town's water tower. He recruits an unlikely group of worshippers: his snail-farming best friend, Shin, cute-as-a-button (whatever that means) Magda Price, and the violent and unpredictable Henry Stagg. As their religion grows, it takes on a life of its own. While Jason struggles to keep the faith pure, Shin obsesses over writing their bible, and the explosive Henry schemes to make the new faith even more exciting -- and dangerous.
When the Chutengodians hold their first ceremony high atop the dome of the water tower, things quickly go from merely dangerous to terrifying and deadly. Jason soon realizes that inventing a religion is a lot easier than controlling it, but control it he must, before his creation destroys both his friends and himself.
"Thought provoking and unique."
-- Kirkus Reviews, starred review
"Anyone who has questioned his or her religion, especially as a teenager, will respond to Jason's struggles with belief."
-- Booklist, starred review