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I Am Not Esther

I Am Not Esther Imagine that your mother tells you that she is going away She is leaving you with relatives whom you have never heard of and they are members of a strict religious cult Your name is changed to a bibli

Imagine that your mother tells you that she is going away She is leaving you with relatives whom you have never heard of and they are members of a strict religious cult Your name is changed to a biblical one, Esther, and you are forced to follow the severe set of social standards set by the cult You don t know where your mother is, and you are beginning to lose your ownImagine that your mother tells you that she is going away She is leaving you with relatives whom you have never heard of and they are members of a strict religious cult Your name is changed to a biblical one, Esther, and you are forced to follow the severe set of social standards set by the cult You don t know where your mother is, and you are beginning to lose your own identity In this gripping psychological thriller, Fleur Beale creates a well drawn and utterly compelling portrayal of a teenager s worst nightmare Fleur Beale is a former teacher who was inspired to write this novel when a student was beaten up and expelled from his family because of their religious beliefs She has written several young adult novels, which have been published in New Zealand, where she lives This is her first novel published in the United States.

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About Author

  1. Fleur Beale says:
    Fleur Beale is the author of many award winning books for children and young adults, best known for her novel I am not Esther which has been published worldwide.Beale was one of six children of a dairy farmer Cedric Corney and of a teacher and author Estelle Corney n e Cook She was born in Inglewood, Taranaki, New Zealand, on the farm where her father was born Beale grew up in the town before attending Victoria University, Wellington and Christchurch Teachers Training College, where she met her husband Since 1985 she has taught at Melville High School in Hamilton, Waikato and in Wellington Beale s first stories were written for the children s radio programme Grandpa s Place Her first book was a small reader and picture book for young children and she started to write for teenagers in 1993 Her stories often involve troubled adolescents engaged in outdoor activities.Beale was a finalist in the Aim Children s Book Awards junior fiction and her 1998 novel I am not Esther was shortlisted for the senior fiction section of the 1999 New Zealand Post Children s Awards In 1999 she was awarded the Children s Writing Fellowship at Dunedin College of Education and quit teaching to write full time Her 2001 novel Ambushed was a finalist for the Junior Fiction section of the 2002 New Zealand Post Children s Book Awards Her 2004 account of how an indigenous girl discovers how her education can save her tribal lands My Story A New Song in the Land The Writings of Atapo, Pahia, c.1840 received a Notable Book award in 2005 as did Walking Lightly.

Comment 649 on “I Am Not Esther

  1. LibraryLass says:
    I really enjoyed this book, I thought the plot was great and enjoyed the characters even grey Uncle Caleb Too often I have found that YA books are full of doom and gloom and angst They try to tackle very heavy subjects, without entertainment or a satisfactory conclusion I picked up this book after hearing a great book talk about it and after scanning the blurb was reluctant to read it, but I was very pleasantly surprised Although it did deal with a fairly heavy subject religion cult , it was don [...]

  2. Cameron says:
    What would you do if your mom packed her stuff and went away to Africa, leaving you with family you ve never once met What if they don t have anything to do with the real world, and all they do is worship God Kirby can t watch TV, go online, read books or have anything to do with modern life Her life must revolve around God and God only It s a horrible lifestyle she lives And her name is now Esther.The plot line was fantastic and I have actually had a chance to meet this author who was lovely Th [...]

  3. Rachel Lee says:
    Title I Am Not EstherAuthor Fleur BealePublisher Hyperion Paperback Year 1998 of pages 250 Genre FictionReading level Interest level 10th 11th graders Potential hot lava Language, religious ideas cults General response reaction I chose this book because the synopsis sounded amazing and immediately caught my attention I assumed with the title I Am Not Esther and having a religious theme throughout the book that it was going to somehow parallel the story of Esther in the Christian bible However, t [...]

  4. Rose says:
    I am Not Esther, by Fleur Beale, is a sad yet inspiring book about a 14 year old girl, Kirby Greenland, whose life changes, after her mother gets a job helping refugees in Africa, and leaves her with these strange relatives she has never met before Not only do these people have a different lifestyle to her, but she is also expected to live by their ways These relatives belong to a religious sect called The Children Of The Faith They have no televisions, radios or phones They have virtually no co [...]

  5. Maddy says:
    I Am Not Ester Book ReviewThe book I am not Esther, written by Fleur Beale, is a book about a girl changing, changing religion and person The title I am not Esther is from Kirby s Catchphrase I am not Esther i would recommended this to book the age of 12 and over, it action packed and shows a different point of you that you are probably not used to When fourteen year old Kirby Greenland s Mother Ellen Greenland leaves her own daughter in the hands of her relatives while Ellen supposedly goes to [...]

  6. Hannah Rahman says:
    I am not Esther is an amazing novel about a girl Kirby whose mother suddenly tells her she is going away to live in Africa and that she is being sent to live with her uncle and his family Her mother hasn t talked about her family in a long time and Kirby is very upset and shocked by her mothers actions Kirby s life changes dramatically when she is sent away and she is forced to change her clothes to long skirts, her hair needs to be tied up in one long plait and her life is all about god, readin [...]

  7. Ashleigh Neame says:
    How I Discovered or Acquired This Book Came across it in an old, hard to find second hand bookshop in Onehunga, Auckland, New Zealand.When Where Read November 2013 at home.Noteworthy Experiences While Reading This Book Even though Kirby knew it was all wrong and frequently stated this, I sometimes found myself identifying with The Rule and The Children of Faith.Check Out Author s Other Books or Related Books Yes.Quality of Writing 9 10Pace 8 10Plot Development 8 10Characters 9 10Enjoyability 8 1 [...]

  8. RitaSkeeter says:
    2.5 StarsKirkby is sent to live with maternal family when her mother decides to do aid work in Africa Kirby had never known her family by this time and as well as the shock of being sent to live with strangers she is also confronted with needing to assimilate into a cult like fundamentalist religion Among other changes Kirby s name is changed to the Godly Esther , with Kirby s statement I am not Esther being oft repeated throughout the novel and reflective of Kirby s refusal to accept her new l [...]

  9. Mary Bronson says:
    Wow, this book was great It was hard to read because of the content and thinking about this actually happens in the real world I thought the characters and plot were both written very well I read this book a long time ago in high school and had no idea that it had two other books Now I want to read them.

  10. Kelsey says:
    do you ever feel like the only person on who Didn t Get Itthis was so short and left me somewhere in the realm of eh, okay, so i m not even gonna pretend to format this like a proper review enjoy jotnotese good kirby herself a goddamn fireball who i found pretty funny, wild, reckless, and for all her big talk, still had a heart and kindness to give to her siblings and some of the church kids who she was initially a snot about loved loved loved how kirby became a big sister to Maggie, and how imp [...]

  11. Carolina says:
    I LOVED this book I was really excited to read it, since the theme was something I had never read about before and it had some great reviews I am very happy to say I was not dissappointed.The religious themes aren t shoved down your throat, and neither does the story try to put you completely against it Instead it gently eases you into this almost other world that the characters are living in, and you slowly learn about their day to day and way of life.The writing was just great Simple, but desc [...]

  12. Haley Dearth says:
    Personal Response This book has a very interesting story, which I ended up enjoying While reading, I never really got bored of what was going on in the book because of the detail of what was happening This book made me want to read , which is very rare Sometimes through this book, I got angry because of some of the events that had happened Overall this is a great and interesting book that I liked reading Plot Summary I Am Not Esther is a book that describes the life of Kirby Greenland, who was s [...]

  13. Tasha Baxendale says:
    I decided to read I am not Esther because it was highly recommended by friends as they had previously read it at school and it was apparently an excellent read.This book falls into the category of a book written by a New Zealander This category was interesting for me because I usually don t read books by New Zealanders as I usually can t find ones I can enjoy but this book was fantastic and was new for me.My favourite quote from this book is It still isn t easy I still cry a lot, but mostly I ve [...]

  14. Sheila says:
    Kirby s Mum s a great nurse, but not very organized Still, that s okay Fourteen year old Kirby s efficient enough for two Then Mum announces they re moving Kirby finds herself living among religious relatives who insist on calling her Esther and make her dress and act like a character from history She d like to run away, but where can she run In Wellington, New Zealand, Kirby has no friends, no relatives beyond the strangers she s told are family, and no hope.Soon a burgeoning care for her new b [...]

  15. Maggie61 says:
    I read this whole book in one sitting, cover to cover It brings out so many emotions and thoughts and was a fascinating read I can t imagine people living that way as they were in the cult and I really can t imagine being Kirby forced to become Esther and adopting new rules and expectations that she was forced to follow.While I did sympathize with Ellen, Kirby s mother and what she was going through, I cannot for the life of me understand her leaving her daughter with the cult that she herself w [...]

  16. Diana says:
    This book was a very good read One that my librarian picked out for me and I m very glad he did.The writing in this book was very impressive It portrayed the thoughts and feeling Kirby had towards her mother and the negative situation she was in throughout this book The writer did well at displaying those emotions and the battle of guilt that Kirby was experiencing.This book was very honest in the way that it talked about relationships and being part of a community I found it very moving and oft [...]

  17. Linda says:
    It has taken me a long time to get around to read this New Zealand classic, nearly 20 years since it was originally published The themes of the book are still relevant today and I enjoyed this story immensely Kirby and her mother have been on their own all of Kirbys life, so when her mum announces she is going away and Kirby is to go and stay with an uncle she has never heard of, Kirby is shocked More so when she finds her uncle and aunt and family are part of a strict religious cult Kirby becom [...]

  18. Megan says:
    So there is a second book and I kind of need it right now

  19. Sharlene says:
    Really enjoyed this book, even though it took me awhile to read.

  20. Rebecca McNutt says:
    This book was very well written and original for the most part, definitely not what I was expecting at all It s a really eerie novel and definitely worth reading.

  21. Jess Hale says:
    I remember reading this when I was first published, but apparently it s already a classic Fleur Beale is one of my favourite authors One of the strengths of her young adult novels is her vibrant, resilient teenage characters, which Kirby certainly is She also does adult characters well too in a YA novel the adults are often the antagonist, but Beale doesn t write two dimensional villains even if they re not sympathetic their motives are understandable and it s often rewarding at the end of her b [...]

  22. USOM says:
    This was okay, I really liked that we were able to get into Esther s head and it makes for a very quick and engaging read It just didn t wow me and I was a bit disappointed we didn t get the perspectives of the other children I think that would have been cool I did love the exploration of who is Esther though

  23. Discoverylover says:
    I know I ve read this at least three or four times, going back to when I was at high school Every time I read it I m shocked by the whole concept The book is fast paced, scary, and easily read in one sitting I remember picking this book up as a teen at the public library because I was looking for something else with a similar title but kept finding this one instead

  24. Brittany Smith says:
    This book made me think a lot About how one day everything is perfect and the next day your whole life can change It can be much easier for an adult to adjust or defend themselves than a teen Your rights ripped away like a page in the book How do you deal with that as a teen RUN, STAY, OVERCOME I d like to compare this to A handmaids tail in the sense of women s rights.

  25. Helen says:
    This was ok but with such an interesting topic could have been much better The writing was average and the plot was fairly thin and unbelievable in parts Character development was lacking and it was hard to warm to the protagonist or in fact almost any of the characters I d love someone else to grab this subject and really nail it.

  26. Kit says:
    this is the first book in ages I ve read in pretty much one setting it wasnt the most well written book ever but it was emotionally engaging and the characters are everything the ending didn t disappoint and I can t wait to read Rebecca s story in the next one.

  27. Olive says:
    i really love this series, i like how in each book its from a different persons perspective novel or non fiction text about a serious issue

  28. Lauren says:
    A perfect IWD2018 read A classic NZ young adult novel, it totally holds up.

  29. Bella says:
    Really enjoyed reading this book So inspiring and opened my eyes to the very secretive world that the protagonist lives in.

  30. Diana says:
    I had a couple of issues with the writing style, especially at the beginning, but otherwise this was a very good and very powerful book.

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