Katy’s Debate by Kim Vogel Sawyer has “change” as its theme. Katy Lambright is conflicted between what is right and wrong in her extremely spiritual Mennonite community. She does not want to force change upon her family and friends, but she also wants them to be happy, and she wonders if this is possible within the confines of their traditions. She ends up feeling guilty because she is lying to them about her emotions and about what she really wants to do with her life.
Katy does a lot of thinking and soul searching as she tries to choose which path is right and which is wrong. Her relationships with her father and her best friend, Annika, are very strong until conflicts with incoming relationships cause Katy to become very jealous. An intense scene with Annika happens in Katy’s kitchen when Katy tells her how she feels about Annika’s new boy interest, which causes their friendship to be put on hold.
Katy’s father, a widower, wants to remarry. His new love is actually a woman his mother has chosen for him from a different town. Katy feels like all the attention she once received is now being taken from her. She’s lost the devotion of her father and her best friend.
Katy shows herself to be a person who wants to please everyone, even if that means she has to bottle everything up. She vents through her writing and school activities, such as her involvement on the debate team and forensics team. She hates doing anything that would disappoint God or her father and friends, and is a perfectionist who worries about things too much. This tends to put her in even bigger predicaments.
The book kept me reading for hours and kept my mind running. The story helps readers perceive how people of different belief systems live their lives in distinctive ways, and how our worldviews affect our actions. Anyone of any age would enjoy this book, and especially people of faith. – Caroline Taylor, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com
Katy’s Debate is the second book in the Katy Lambright Series by bestselling author Kim Vogel Sawyer, which follows sixteen-year-old Katy as she adjusts to life outside her Old Order Mennonite community in Kansas. Katy’s dad is courting Rosemary Graber, and Katy decides to use her new debate skills to end the romance before it can go any further. At the same time, Katy is developing a crush of her own.