I received a copy of IN FRONT OF GOD AND EVERYBODY by K. D. McCrite, from Thomas Nelson. It is the first book in the CONFESSIONS OF APRIL GRACE series. The cover did not really catch my attention. It shows a smiling girl, which certainly is not off-putting, but not eye-catching, either. However, once I got into the story, I was hooked.
The story takes place in the summer of 1986 – this in itself interested me, since it happens before I was born, and I wondered what things were like then as opposed to now, and what I remember from my childhood.
April Grace lives on a farm in the Ozarks. The things she says are hilarious. I laughed aloud through every page. She has a quirky, contagious sense of humor, the perfect type of person to befriend. She gives the reader her take on everything, from the weather to her grandmother’s mean cat, Queenie.
First, there is her family. Her mother, Lily, and her father, Mike, are deeply in love. They want to help everyone, including the new neighbors. Then, there is April Grace’s sister, Myra Sue, who would rather watch soap operas than weed the garden. April Grace is very close to her grandmother, who lives next door, so she’s upset when her sister thinks the elderly woman is a hillbilly. Their grandmother also has a new beau. April Grace is positive he is out to due no good, and the things she sees proves that in her mind.
April Grace loves the hippie neighbors, but not the fresh-from-California neighbors. Ian and Isabel do not know a thing about the country, especially Isabel, who is extremely rude even though April Grace’s family only wants to help.
As an elementary teacher, I know the children I sub for would adore this story. It is not only hilarious, but extremely true, with many relatable aspects. Every time April Grace describes her beloved family farm, I remember my grandmother’s farm and the happy summer days I spent there with my cousins. I look forward to reading future APRIL GRACE novels.