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To Save a Life / Devo2Go
Author: Jim and Rachel Britts
Publisher : Outreach Publishing
Length: 315 pp.
To Save a Life: Devo2Go
100 pp. + CD

Based on the critically acclaimed movie, To Save a Life is part John Hughes teen angst movie, and part object lesson.  Jake Taylor is the best athlete in his high school ­ star point guard of the basketball team, and dating the hottest girl in school.  His is a life of getting what he wants ­ friendships, scholarship offers, and a girlfriend who will do anything he wants as long as she has access to him.

Jake’s childhood friend Roger Dawson once saved his life by pushing him out of the way of an oncoming car.  The only catch is that by doing so, Roger was hit by the car.  His injuries leave him with a limp, both physically and socially.  Like many childhood friends, Jake and Roger drift apart, mostly as Jake’s athletic ability and popularity grow.  Roger becomes a loner, a brooding outcast seemingly without a social circle.

Jake’s world is shattered as Roger ends his own life ­ at school.  His girlfriend may be pregnant, and his parents aren’t getting along either.  Suddenly, the boy who had it all finds himself questioning what is truly important.  Guilty over the loss of his friend, and struggling to hold it all together, he meets a local youth minister who doesn’t fit his picture of the “church type.”

Surrounded by a new group of peers, Jake tries to work out his confusion, while dealing with hypocrisy, trying to hold on to his old group of friends while making new ones, reaching out to a student who seems to need a friend, and attempting to concentrate on school during his senior year.  Through all of this, he starts to realize what is truly important.  His influence with the other students accelerates some of the healing from Roger’s death, but when another friend reaches a breaking point, will Jake’s new found faith be enough to help him?

The devotional material is geared toured high school youth, and it includes a CD that presents the material in audio form, ideal for the mp3 generation.  With 36 sessions in all and an interactive online journal, it provides plenty of study material for the teen who is trying to maintain a spiritual life, or who just has questions at the pivotal time in his or her life.

All of the material here dovetails well with the movie, and serves as a springboard for youth ministers inclined to use multimedia in reaching their students.  An extremely well done project ­ it doesn’t sanitize the church, and it doesn’t shy away from the real problems of high school students, whether within or out of the church.

Brian A. Smith



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