Ten-year-old Mary Mae loves to sing hymns with her Granny, go to Sunday School, and learn about trilobites. She has lots of questions about how the earth looked millions of years ago. Trouble is, Mary Mae's mother thinks it's wrong to believe the world is that old. Mama believes God created it six thousand years ago and she believes that nobody should teach Mary Mae otherwise. When Mary Mae starts taking her questions to church, asking how God created the earth in six days or how eight people could take care of animals on an ark, Mama puts her foot down: homeschooling. Mary Mae must decide where her loyalties lie: with science and Miss Sizemore, with God and Mama, or somewhere in the middle.

Sandra Dutton grew up the daughter of Sunday school teachers in Ohio.  She was as curious about the book of Genesis as she was about the fossils in her backyard.  She says, "I wrote this book for kids like me who love discovering things, whether in the Bible, the backyard, or a history book.  I want them to have to courage to ask questions."  
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
ISBN-13/EAN: 9780547249667 ; $15.00
Hardcover; 144 pages
Publication Date: 06/28/2010
Mary Mae and the Gospel Truth
June 2010
Cover by Kelly Murphy
Just for fun I made the puppets that appear in Mary Mae and the Gospel Truth
Praise for Mary Mae and the Gospel Truth

 ”You’re going to love getting to know Mary Mae.”
              Zilpha Keatley Snyder, three-time Newbery Honor Winner and              author of The Egypt Game

“Dutton sensitively navigates the sticky debate between creationism and evolution. . .”
              Publishers Weekly, Starred

“It is both a lovely coming-of-age story and a lesson in respect between religion and science.”
              School Library Journal

“Very few books for this age group tackle religious subjects as this one does, in a way that shows respect for all sides.”
              Kirkus Reviews

“I could tell the moment I opened the cover of this book that Sandra Dutton was penning a pitch-perfect tale.”
              David Crumm,

“A celebration of the wonderful intricacy of the natural world, with acknowledgment of the different ways people can approach that celebration.” 
              Project MUSE, Johns Hopkins University

“delves into several taboo subjects such as ignorance, hierarchy, religion, and even politics, but in a way that is endearing, captivating, and comprehendible.”
      San Francisco Review of Books

 ”[Dutton's] use of the everyday speech of her characters is rich and pitch perfect, and her theme, that no one as an absolute answer to the questions of life, is crafted with the respect than cna only come with love and the love than can only come with respect.”

“shows the importance of fostering a critical mind.”
               ReadSchmead:  Tales of the Book

“With humor and sensitivity, Sandra Dutton explores the idea that faith and science do not have to be kept separate.”
               Through the Looking Glass

“Provocative in the very best way, this is a brave and timely book that leaves you the better for having read it.”
                Planet Esme

“ Sandra Dutton has written a gem of a book.”
                Welcome to My Tweendom

“No matter what kinds of truth you adhere to, and just how long you think this old world of ours has been around, you’re going to love getting to know Mary Mae and her granny–the songs they sing, and their courage in facing up to the fact that there is no mention of trilobites in Mama’s Bible.”
               Zilpha Keatley Snyder, three-time Newbery Honor Winner and author of The Egypt Game

“Dutton has tackled a thorny subject–creationism versus evolution–in a way that treats both arguments with respect by channeling the whole controversy through the inquiring mind of the disarming and delightful Mary Mae.  And that’s the gospel truth!”
               Amy MacDonald, author of Little Beaver and the Echo

“Sandra Dutton demonstrates here that the quest to integrate faith with the fossil record can be a most enriching experience, and that it is never too early to allow our children to experience the joy of integrating their religious beliefs with a solid science education. This is a delightful — but also serious — work. It will appeal to parents, pastors and educators. We need more works like this.”
                 John F. Haught, Ph. D. Georgetown University, author of                            Making Sense of Evolution: Darwin, God, and the Drama of                         Life

 “Dutton’s brave book sings out the truth with humor and love.”
                 Robin MacCready, winner of the Edgar Award and author of                        Buried.

Nominated to the  “Amelia Bloomer List,” which highlights “books notable for feminist content, quality of writing, and appeal to young readers.” 
Nominated for “Mock Newbery,” Falmouth Library, Falmouth, Maine.