TEACH Journal of Christian Education
Seventh-day Adventist Church
Follow this and additional works at: http://research.avondale.edu.au/teach Part of the Education Commons Recommended Citation
Communication Coordinator for the Seventh-day
Adventist Church in Northern New South Wales
Summer Fades seems an apt name for a book
review in March, the first month of autumn.
It is also the second novel by Amanda Bews,
a follow-up to Heaven Sent. As with Heaven
Sent, Amanda is clearly not afraid to tackle
some big issues—this time covering eating
These are becoming more prevalent. Estimates
are that one in 20 Australians suffer from some
kind of eating disorder, with rates increasing
in the past decade even as obesity is reported
as reaching epidemic levels in most Western
countries. So, if we think it’s too confronting
reading a story about eating disorders and other
complex matters, we’re kidding ourselves. Life is
confronting and complex.
But Summer Fades doesn’t smack the reader
over the head. It doesn’t make you feel guilty, it
doesn’t preach. Rather, it invites you to empathise
with Summer, the main character, a perfectionist
who tries to find control through food (well,
specifically, not eating food).
The other characters—Summer’s best friend
Cameron, brother Bobby, love interest Ben and
childhood friend Julie, whose return is the catalyst
for chaos—are well developed and thoroughly
thought out. And the novel’s portrayal of the role
faith can play is not that of a quick fix but of a real
hope and gradual healing.
The story moves along quickly. There’s
enough emotional engagement to keep you
interested but not so much that it seems affected.
And while written for young adults, Summer
Fades is also a good read for parents.
Having friends who’ve suffered from eating
disorders, I know how complex an issue this is.
But I also know there’s hope, that change and
healing can and does occur. TEACH
The Cry of the Teacher’s Soul
Children’s Ministries and Education Director
(Retired), Bonnells Bay, NSW
There are many books for Christians about
theology and many books for teachers about
educational theory and practice, but this book
is like neither of those. This is one for teachers
that is not about teaching, one for Christians
that is not about biblical exegesis. This is a
perceptive and sympathetic ‘letter’ from a
Christian teacher, to Christian teachers about
their own spiritual and professional health and
how these are intrinsically connected.
Each chapter starts with a true story: a case study
of an authentic Christian teacher struggling with
their chosen vocation, and seriously considering
a change of direction. Why has it happened?
What external and internal stresses have caused
it? In what ways has their belief system and their
Christian experience contributed to the situation?
The reader is then presented with an honest
appraisal of some of the paradoxes of the Christian
life as they apply to teachers: like the clash
between idealism and reality, the tension between
giving everything to our students and taking care
of ourselves, and the contrasts of what we know in
our head and what we feel in our heart.
This is not a self-help book. It doesn’t
prescribe quick solutions but it explores the close
relationship between teachers’ daily classroom
experiences and their own spiritual development.
There are questions at the end of each
chapter—a pause to consider not if, but how the
discussion relates to individual teachers and their
situations, as it surely will.
Because the book addresses experiences that
are topical, and relevant to Christian teachers, it is
easy to read. With only 115 pages, it is designed
for busy teachers, student teachers and their
mentors. I wish it had been available when I was
a student teacher, a classroom teacher, a lecturer
and student mentor. TEACH