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Book details
  • SubGenre:Religious / Christian / Historical
  • Age Range (years):13 and up
  • Language:English
  • Pages:180
  • eBook ISBN:9781626754324

Free Will

A Young Man's Spiritual Journey

by Mike Beckett and Priscilla, Fias

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Twelve year old Will Freeman moves with his family from urban New Jersey to tiny rural Churchtown, Pennsylvania where his father will work on environmental ground water clean-up. Will feels caught in a cultural and religious time warp, but his real journey begins when his father disappears under suspicious circumstances and is presumed dead. His sister goes missing and if that isn’t enough, Will is bullied as “the outsider.” Throughout the book, Free Will, Will experiences spiritual turmoil and growth as his inner strength and faith is continually tested.
Will Freeman is a young visionary who doesn’t know it yet. When he and his family move to Churchtown, PA, from New Jersey, his spirituality is awakened in a way that he finds menacing and troubling. After Will’s father John Freeman disappears as a result of his involvement in exposing corruption in his new community, Will is tormented by the idea that he is somehow at fault. At first, finding his father becomes Will’s mission but later, uncovering the truth about his death, becomes a driving passion that will lead Will through some emotional and spiritual as well as physically challenging adventures. As Will gets pulled in by some of the local kids, he accepts or rejects their ingrained spiritual beliefs depending on his frame of mind at any given time. Even so, he is able to make some loyal friends, but, he is still bullied because he is an outsider, and he sometimes can not escape peer pressure. At his back he feels “Time’s winged chariot.” Will’s journey doesn’t end at the conclusion of Free Will, because like all humans, he continues to experience life’s challenges. The adults in his life try to guide him but like most teenagers, he lives a life separate and secret from them. His struggle is to try to make sense of what happens to him and how he can move ahead emotionally, intellectually and spiritually. Features *The setting in Churchtown lends an air of mystery and intrigue about the people and the place. Many details appear to mirror real locations. *The unique blend of cultures in this locale will fascinate most readers, even some of the locals. *Free Will speaks to the universal questions that not only teens experience, but adults as well. *As educators and outsiders to the area themselves, the authors bring an intimacy to the plot.
About the author
Mike Beckett: Originally a New Jersey native, Beckett moved to Pennsylvania 17 years to earn a pastoral ministry degree. After earning his degree in ministry from a Philadelphia area Bible college, he continue in his studies to get his PA teaching certification. After 10 years of teaching history and earning a MS in education, Mike was awarded in 2011 in the United Nations for his contributions to global education. With a profound curiosity with folklore and history, Beckett was excited to have the opportunity to co-write this novel, with his former co-worker, especially since the themes in the book were perceiving the day to day struggles that teenagers and ordinary people face: from peer pressure, to abandonment, to developing ones’ own belief system. As a person who tries to “press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus, (Phil. 3:14)” Beckett tries to utilize his daily struggles in life to continue to keep his faith strong. Beckett lives in Lancaster, PA with his wife Shanna, and their son Andrew.