c2009 Non-Fiction; Grades 8+; 254 p. Publisher’s Weekly Best Books of the Year 2009 Booklist: In his thirties, Albom’s rabbi, after hearing him deliver a speech, asked Albom to deliver the eulogy at his funeral. Not big on faith and married to a Christian woman of Lebanese background, Albom was taken aback. He’d known Rabbi Albert Lewis since he was a child, seeing him as the tall and distant figure somewhere between God and the congregants of the synagogue in a New Jersey suburb. He consented and asked to spend time with Reb to get to know him as a man. In eight years, what began as a reluctant assignment grew into a treasured friendship with a man of unbounded joy, singing everything from show tunes to greetings to his visitors. In his new hometown of Detroit, where he developed a charitable foundation, Albom met Henry Covington, pastor of a dilapidated inner-city church and a humbled former drug dealer and ex-con. Covington’s church, with a huge hole in the roof and very few and very poor congregants, obviously needed help. But Albom wasn’t sure how much to invest until he began to witness the faith of Covington and his congregation, struggling to overcome poverty, addictions, and hopelessness. Albom parallels time spent with Rabbi Lewis, Pastor Covington, and his own personal spiritual journey as he learned the incredible complexities of faith, finding it, holding on to it, and seeing and appreciating it at work in others. Albom, author of the acclaimed Tuesdays with Morrie (1997), offers another inspirational and heartwarming story about the strength of friendship and power of faith.