by Brian Meehl

Delacorte Books for Young Readers, $17.99, 416 pages

You Don’t Know About Me is a modern-day Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Brian Meehl crafts a thoughtful coming-of-age novel about sixteen-year-old Billy Allbright. Due to his mother’s fanatic religious stunts, Billy is forced to move all his life. She wants him to serve in the Jesus-Brigade while he wants to become a pro mountain-biker.

Billy receives a mysterious Bible in the mail. His mother believes it is a sign from God, but within its covers, Billy uncovers the adventure of a lifetime. According to his mother, his preacher-father died when Billy was a small child, but according to the man who hides himself within the pages, his scholar-father is still alive, but only barely. Billy’s mission is to travel the country looking for his inheritance, and the truth about his history.

From Mississippi to Kentucky, from Ohio to Idaho, and finally Oregon, Billy follows his father’s clues. Along the way, he goes AWOL from Bible camp, does some Dumpster diving, becomes a stowaway, and is kidnapped by con artists for their anti-action un-movie. Along the way, Billy’s deepest convictions are challenged. At times he is angry, scared, judgmental, and confused, but ultimately, he discovers his own convictions, and becomes his own man.

Emily Davis