REVIEWED BY Susan E. Richardson

Finding God in Tough Times by Kristi Holl gives middle school girls 90 devotions to encourage and help them find God’s guidance and comfort when dealing with difficult situations. Holl uses an initial Scripture and then a story format, showing how to make good choices in various circumstances. She follows with more Scripture, ways to connect to God, a journal prompt, and action points.

Writing about various issues can be challenging, but doing so for children adds an additional level. The author must be careful not to give enough detail to traumatize a child not dealing with a particular issue but enough so the child with the issue sees herself reflected. Holl does a good job with balancing the two.

The author also does a good job with the layers needed in a book of this type. She avoids “happily ever after” endings where all works out as the girl wants. Cases like death, divorce, or blended families often leave participants without the ability to alter the primary situation. Instead, Holl shows girls how their own choices can lead to a positive ending, even if the main situation does not change.

Children’s ministers, Christian counselors who work with middle school girls, Sunday School teachers, and parents need to be aware of this book. The journal prompts would be good discussion starters in helping girls work through issues. If you know a girl struggling with pain and change, give her a copy of Finding God in Tough Times.