In Coaltown Jesus by Ron Koertge, a teen struggling with his older brother’s death prays for God’s help and Jesus shows up in the sort-of flesh. Only Walker can see Jesus and he gets advice and insight like a guardian angel, only it’s on the odd matters like what girl likes him and how to score a pair of new sneakers. Or so it seems.
While Coaltown Jesus has the potential to be incredibly hokey, the offbeat, poetic style works. It should be kind of cheeseball and completely insulting. Instead it’s funny and light, while still managing to probe deep, painful questions and offer hope.
It’s also short and sweet, something you can read in one sitting.