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Reviewed by Sarah Scheele for Readers' Favorite
Believe: What Do You Do When Your Dream is Bigger Than You? by Kirstin Leigh is a Christian middle-grade story about a 12-year-old girl named Kristi Kate who wants more than anything to be a big star. Songs just come to her. She lives to perform. And she’s super-excited about the premiere at her school of a musical that she wrote! But everything is ruined when her father’s plane crashes in a tiny town in Alabama. Kristi is beyond devastated, but when she starts to make new friends in the town, it isn’t long before she realizes maybe all this happened for a reason. There’s a church that needs to be revitalized. Does God have a special plan for her in this place?
Believe took me on a charming journey with a young girl who has so much to offer the world and, at the same time, so much to learn. If you just can’t resist a feel-good, small town story with a great message, this book is picture-perfect. Kirstin Leigh creates some complex characters with real flaws, real relationships, and real growth journeys that—often literally—sing off the page and straight into your heart. There are authentic disappointments and achievements, such as Kristi’s struggle to get her father to accept her dreams and her hard work pulling all the kids in the town together for a big show. Kristi is a strong main character. She splashes across the page like a shiny ribbon of optimism and she comes to understand that God’s plan is driving her life and her dreams in a relatable way. A well-written book sprinkled with songs and “God ideas” that will encourage girls to unlock their potential and grow their faith.