Angels in Our Midst
Outcast by most of the children in the junior high school he attends, Tobey Marshall has been deeply traumatized by the death of his parents at the World Trade Center on 9/11. Living with his Uncle Nick and Jannah, Tobey is a loner who has created his own world where he believes he is protected by a guardian angel. A young girl named Suzy, whose own beliefs are in question, befriends Tobey and by doing so discovers that they have more in common than she ever expected. Suzy has captured the fancy of Jim Doder, a popular basketball player at school, who leads a double life as the gang leader in a series of local home burglaries. When Suzy rejects Jim’s affections and her relationship with Tobey continues, Jim makes life difficult for both of them. After one of Doder’s gang is arrested in a botched burglary attempt, Tobey is framed. In the dramatic and exciting climax, Tobey must prove his innocence to Suzy and the whole school by facing reality and confronting Jim Doder in public.
“Angels in Our Midst” deals with the reality of being persecuted for one’s faith, and also for just simply being different.
The story focuses on Tobey Marshall (Ryan Sotzen), a junior high student who lost his parents on 9/11. He has never gotten over it, but reads his Bible, trusts in his guardian angel, and stays to himself. It is for these reasons he is called “retard” by several students who simply don’t know Tobey. A girl named Susan is a bit of a loner herself. Susan, called Suzy, has compassion for Tobey and befriends him. It should be noted that both Ryan Sotzen as Tobey and Therese Boyich as Suzy give excellent performances and are the main reason the story works as well as it does.
Suzy has a difficult time with the angel talk, but at the same time is curious about Tobey’s beliefs. A bully named Jim Doder (Matthew Vuckovich) picks on Tobey and pummels him on a few occasions, but he likes Suzy. It is difficult for him to see Tobey and Suzy develop a friendship, especially since Jim’s parents have separated. Tobey gets no support from the uncle he lives with. In fact, Uncle Nick is secretly in league with Jim and a few other boys, having them steal from homes and bring the loot to him so he can resell it.
Eventually Tobey has to deal with a false accusation and Suzy faces a moment when she has to decide if she believes in angels or not. A miraculous moment seems pretty certain to sway her from her previous negative mindset. We are very happy to award “Angels in Our Midst” our Faith Friendly Seal for ages twelve plus. It shows the difference one life can make!