This book is about a boy, Jason, who on a whim starts his own religion worshipping a new god - the town's water tower. Other kids join this religion for different reasons, with different levels of commitment. Jason struggles to keep the religion pure and the townspeople and their parents start to be aware of what the kids are doing.
Jason is very bright, and he has some interesting points about religion to make. As time goes by, he feels like he's lost control of his creation and that bothers him. If you've ever thought that all religions were stupid, this is a book you should read. It does NOT take a position of being either for or against ANY religion. It does examine why different people want something in their life, and the reasons why they want a religion to fill that need.
This would be a good book for a bright kid who is starting to think about religion in general - it may help them clarify their own opinions and thoughts.
The first best book ever was "Cradle and All" by James Patterson, but that isn't the point here.
So, every teenager's life has been boring at some point in time, correct? Well, what would happen if you were so bored that you just created your own religion? It started out as kind of a joke between just a few select friends. But in the end something terrible could have happened. Especially if you are worshiping a water tower... You see, worshiping a water tower means you have to do things like climb "The Ten-Legged One" or drink from The Ten-Legged One, or swim in The Ten-Legged One, and for one unfortuanate kid, fall off of The Ten-Legged One. Which is how it all came to an end. A joke made out of boredom, taken too seriously, can be extremely dangerous.
Jason didnt mean to cause trouble, but when he decides to try creating a new religion, thats
about all he manages to have. Jason wonders how a religion has success, and decides to test it
with worshipping the Ten-Legged One, or rather, the towns water tower. He recruits his best
friends to help, and inadvertently recruits a bully and a beautiful girl. This is the start of the trouble, for Henry (the bully) wants all to meet at the top of the tower and swim inside, and it ends with Henry falling off the top to the catwalk below. All is exposed and Jason now must
come to grips with the power of suggestion.
This is a good suspense novel, and Hautman has done a good job creating a religion (complete
with texts and commandments), causing readers to question things. Some parents may not like
the fact this book blatantly dismisses God (Jasons eyesnot Jasons parents eyes) and
encourages free thinking about religion. But Jason is a wonderful character, and I love getting
to know him throughout the book. His creativity is especially neat.