The Christy Miller Collection, Volume 1
This contemporary Christian book is made up of the first three books in the " Christy Miller" series. Written by Robin Jones Gunn, it is published by Bethany House Publishers, a division of the Baker Publishing Group.
The Christy Miller Collection is written for kids ages 12 and up. The age range reflects readability and not necessarily content appropriateness.
Crude or Profane Language
Drug and Alcohol Content
Other Negative Elements
Volume 1 in The Christy Miller Collection holds three books about Christy Miller, a teen girl whose family lives on a Wisconsin farm then moves to Escondido, California, an hour and a half away from her wealthy aunt and uncle. Once or twice a year, she spends time with her aunt and uncle in Newport Beach, Calif. There she meets Todd Spencer, an easygoing surfer and a Christian, who becomes a romantic interest.
Fourteen-year-old Christy spends the summer with her aunt and uncle in California. As Christy meets new friends, she is exposed to other teens involved in sex, drugs and drinking. Although she is offered drugs and alcohol, Christy honors a promise she made to her parents not to do anything that she might regret. Christy meets Todd, a surfer who loves talking about God. Todd and his friends challenge Christy in her faith, and she invites Jesus into her life. Christy wonders if she and Todd could ever be more than just friends.
Christy is excited when her family decides to move to California. As a 15-year-old sophomore, she has to make new friends at a new school, and Christy is surprised when she fits into a popular group of girls and attracts the attentions of the school's heartthrob, Rick Doyle. One of her new friends, Brittany, appears to have an eating disorder. While Christy, Brittany and another new friend, Janelle, vacation in Palm Springs with Christy's aunt and uncle, Brittany persuades the other girls to go with her to the drugstore. She picks up her mother's prescriptive diet pills and three boxes of laxatives. Then she tries to leave the store without paying. When confronted by a security guard, Brittany slips the items into Christy's purse and runs out with Janelle, leaving Christy alone with the guard. Christy is taken to the police station for questioning before an officer releases her to her aunt and uncle. She learns the importance of saying no to bad influences and yes to good ones. She also learns to rely on God — the one friend who will never abandon her.
It's Christmas break, and Christy gets to spend a week at her aunt and uncle's house. Before she leaves, she meets her friend Rick in the church parking lot to exchange gifts. His unanticipated kiss leaves her confused about their relationship. Once at her aunt and uncle's, Christy is excited to be with her old beach friends — especially Todd. However her romantic dream of spending time with Todd doesn't work out as she had hoped. When the gang goes ice-skating, Christy ends up with Doug the entire time, creating numerous wrong impressions. Christy apologizes to her friends, and Todd gives her an ID bracelet with the word Forever engraved on it. Todd explains to Christy that no matter what happens in their relationship, they will be friends forever.
Each book in this collection is grounded in Christian beliefs. Summer Promise deals with the need for Christ's forgiveness and the belief in salvation through faith, not works. A Whisper and a Wish emphasizes intimacy with God and the influence of friends. Yours Forever explores becoming who God wants us to be and how God never gives up on us, even when we fail.
Other Belief Systems
In Summer Promise, Shawn lets out a string of curse words, which are not mentioned. After smoking marijuana, Shawn tries to go body surfing and crashes into the jetty, dying the next day. While drunk, Alissa's mother punches her in the eye and threatens to kill her. Alissa admits that six months earlier she tried to kill herself.
Summer Promise: Several scenes indicate that Alissa is flirtatious, sexually active and uses birth control pills. Erik wants Alissa to have sex with him as a way of telling him goodbye. Christy wonders if Todd will ever kiss her. After her date with Todd ends badly, Aunt Marti assumes Christy is upset because Todd and Christy have had sex, and Christy wasn't prepared. Todd briefly kisses Christy.
A Whisper and a Wish: Brittany is surprised when Christy tells her she only kissed Todd once over the summer, because Brittany thinks that being close to a guy means being more physically involved. However, no mention is made of the girls sleeping around.
Yours Forever: Rick kisses Christy. She compares his kisses with the innocent kiss she had shared with Todd. On New Year's Eve, Todd kisses Christy once on the lips and once on the head. Christy's summer friend Alissa writes Christy to tell her that she's pregnant. Alissa is 17-years-old and unwed. She tells Christy she considered abortion until she found a Christian pregnancy help center; now she has decided to place the baby with an adoptive family.
If your children have read this book or someone has read it to them, consider these discussion topics:
- How does Christy feel after her first day on the beach?
- How does Christy feel after Aunt Marti makes her over?
- Tell about a day when you felt bad. Who helped you feel better?
- Why does Christy want to be like Alissa?
- Does Alissa want Christy to be like her?
- What does Alissa mean when she says that Christy doesn't know how good she has it?
- Who are you more like, Christy or Alissa? Who do you want to be more like?
- What does Todd give Christy when he drops her off after their day at Disneyland?
- Why does this upset her? Would it upset you?
- When Christy wakes up the next day, she realizes she has to do something. What is it?
- How does she feel afterward?
- What regrets do you have?
- Why does Christy apologize to her aunt?
- Christy meets two radically different types of people during the summer. Shawn and Alissa drink alcohol and have casual sex. Todd's friends go to Christian concerts and worship God around bonfires. To which group of people is Christy most attracted?
- Why was it important for Christy to be around Christian friends?
- How do these friends help her grow?
- Why is it important to surround yourself with Christian friends?
- Does going to church make Christy a Christian? How could she know that she is going to heaven?
- What makes you a Christian? What does this commitment to God mean for your future?
A Whisper and a Wish:
- What does Christy discover about her relationship with Paula after she returns to Wisconsin?
- How does she feel about this?
- How are Christy's new friends in Escondido similar to Paula's new friend?
- How do you feel when a close friend gets a new friend? What can you do about it?
- How is the situation with Christy and her new friends similar to that of Katie Christian and Peter Pagan in her Sunday school class?
- What happens to Christy when she follows the bad influence of her friends?
- Read I Corinthians 15:33. What does this verse say about how the wrong people can hurt you?
- What word does Christy practice saying over and over again after she gets back from Palm Springs? Why does she do this?
- What kinds of things does Todd encourage her to start saying yes to?
- What things does God want you to be saying yes to?
- Why is Christy hesitant to tell Aunt Marti about Brittany's eating disorder?
- What should you do if a friend has a problem that endangers his or her health?
- What is Rick trying to do by encouraging Christy to try out for the cheerleading squad?
- After Christy becomes a cheerleader, Rick tells her that she is becoming more like his type of girl and that he can wait until she's got it all together.
- What does Christy say in response?
- What Scripture passage does she refer to?
- Why does Christy get upset with Todd?
- What does she realize later when Todd shows her a picture from the prom?
- Why does Renee pick on Christy?
- Why does Teri stand up to Renee?
- Have you or a friend ever been picked on? How did you stand up for each other?
- Why should Christy trust her parents' decision to not allow her to attend prom?
- Who are Christy's parents looking out for?
- Who is Christy looking out for?
- In the end, was Christy right, or did her parents make the right decision?
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Readability Age Range
12 and up
Robin Jones Gunn
Bethany House Publishers, a division of the Baker Publishing Group