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May 15, 2013 BOOKLIST
Find more Top 10 Religion Books for Youth
Religion and spirituality, sometimes bright, sometimes with a darker edge, get memorable treatments in these books reviewed over the course of the last year in Booklist.
All Things Bright and Beautiful. By Cecil Alexander. Illus. by Ashley Bryan. 2010. Atheneum, $16.99 (9781416989394). PreS–Gr. 2.
Using bright, swirling collage art, Bryan is at his best as he interprets the famous nineteenth-century hymn, capturing the natural world and its wonders.
The Beatitudes: From Slavery to Civil Rights. By Carol Boston Weatherford. Illus. by Tim Ladwig. 2010. Eerdmans, $16.99 (9780802853523). Gr. 2–4.
With the blessings of the Sermon on the Mount as its underpinnings and illustrated with stirring paintings, this picture book highlights the faith that bolstered the African American struggle for freedom and civil rights.
Black Elk’s Vision: A Lakota Story. By S. D. Nelson. Illus. by the author. 2010. Abrams, $19.95 (9780810983991). Gr. 5–8.
At age nine, Black Elk was blessed with a great vision: humans must realize they live in a circle of supportive life. But how did that square with the injustices his Lakota people suffered? A dramatic, thought-provoking picture book.
The Grand Mosque of Paris: A Story of How Muslims Rescued Jews during the Holocaust. By Karen Gray Ruelle and Deborah Durland DeSaix. Illus. by the authors. 2010. Holiday, $17.95 (9780823421596). Gr. 3–6.
Describing a fascinating and little-known piece of history, this picture book movingly depicts how Paris’ Grand Mosque served as a haven for Jewish adults and children desperate to escape the Nazis.
I See the Rhythm of Gospel. By Toyomi Igus. Illus. by Michele Wood. Jan. 2011. Zonderkidz, $16.99 (9780310718192). Gr. 4–7.
Gospel music—its origins and effects on the souls and stories of African Americans—gets a strong, loving treatment here. Inventive folk art and a CD complete the package.
Jesus. By Gennady Spirin. Illus. by the author. 2010. Marshall Cavendish, $21 (9780761456308). Gr. 4–7.
Using his signature formal and ornate style, Spirin details the life of Jesus. Originally one large painting, the individual events depicted here are paired with verses from the Bible, resulting in a thoughtful picture book worthy of its subject.
The Miracle Stealer. By Neil Connelly. 2010. Scholastic/Arthur Levine, $17.99 (9780545131957). Gr. 9–12.
The power and danger of religion receives a realistic, gutsy—and yet movingly spiritual—examination in this ambitious and graceful novel about a boy whose touch can heal.
The Secret Shofar of Barcelona. By Jacqueline Dembar Greene. Illus. by Doug Chayka. 2009. Lerner/Kar-Ben, $17.95 (9780822599159). Gr. 1–3.
A stately narrative and dignified art together retell a legend about the Jews of Barcelona who stayed and secretly maintained their religion after their kinsmen were expelled from Spain.
Sharing Our Homeland: Palestinian and Jewish Children at Summer Peace Camp. By Trish Marx. Illus. by Cindy Karp. 2010. Lee & Low, $19.95 (9781584302605). Gr. 3–6.
Though frank about the violence and conflict, Marx offers hope for the Middle East in this photo-essay that follows Jewish and Muslim children to peace camp.
Take Me with You. By Carolyn Marsden. 2010. Candlewick, $14.99 (9780763637392). Gr. 4–7.
Two young girls in a Catholic orphanage in post-WWII Naples hope for adoption. But will it take it a miracle for their dream to come true?