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February 15, 2016 BOOKLIST
Find more Top 10 Religion and Spirituality Books for Youth
This year’s top religion books for youth, fiction and nonfiction, run the gamut from saints to a satiric teenage God and everything in between. These titles, which were reviewed in Booklist over the past 12 months, capture faith in its many shapes and shades.
Arts and Culture in the Early Islamic World. By Lizann Flatt. 2012. illus. Crabtree, lib. ed., $30.60 (9780778721673). Gr. 5–7.
Solid information and a striking format combine to introduce the important roles calligraphy, architecture, and the decorative arts have had in Islam. One of four books in the standout Life in the Early Islamic World series.
Beyond Courage: The Untold Story of Jewish Resistance during the Holocaust. By Doreen Rappaport. 2012. illus. Candlewick, $22.99 (9780763629762). Gr. 7–12.
There are shelves of Holocaust books, but this is one of the few to focus in detail on Jewish resistance across Europe. Compelling in both words and pictures.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer. By Michael J. Martin. 2012. illus. Morgan Reynolds, lib. ed., $28.95 (9781599351698). Gr. 7–12.
From the outstanding Champion of Freedom series comes this thoughtful biography of a German theologian whose beliefs led him to stand up against the Nazis.
Intentions. By Deborah Heiligman. 2012. Knopf, $16.99 (9780375868610). Gr. 9–12.
Wearied from her parents’ fighting, Rachel, 15, decides to ask her rabbi for help. Then she overhears him having sex with someone in the sanctuary. A fast-moving and powerful novel.
Martín de Porres: The Rose in the Desert. By Gary D. Schmidt. Illus. by David Díaz. 2012. Clarion, $16.99 (9780547612188). Gr. 2–4.
Schmidt’s biography about a mixed-race boy who became the first black saint in the Americas is touching in its simplicity. Díaz’s exceptional artwork is bold and referential in equal parts.
The Miseducation of Cameron Post. By Emily M. Danforth. 2012. HarperCollins/Balzer and Bray, $17.99 (9780062020567). Gr. 9–12.
When Cameron falls in love with another girl, she is sent to God’s Promise, a church camp, to “cure” her of homosexuality. There is nothing superficial or simplistic in this coming-of-age story.
The Obsidian Blade. By Pete Hautman. 2012. Candlewick, $16.99 (9780763654030). Gr. 8–12.
Mixing sf and religion, this first book in a new series introduces a preacher’s son who hopes to find his missing parents and winds up at Jesus’ crucifixion. Hautman is not afraid to tackle massive complexities, including questions of faith.
The Opposite of Hallelujah. By Anna Jarzab. 2012. Delacorte, $16.99 (9780385738361). Gr. 8–12.
Caro’s much older sister, a cloistered nun, has left the convent and come home with an eating disorder. Questions about faith and forgiveness, science and religion, mental illness, guilt, and possible redemption are asked in this thought-provoking novel.
There Is No Dog. By Meg Rosoff. 2012. Putnam, $17.99 (9780399257643). Gr. 9–12.
If you were told that God is a teenage boy, would that explain why things are so screwed up? That’s the premise of this wildly inventive story told from several viewpoints, including that of petulant, powerful, pissant Bob (aka God).
With a Name like Love. By Tess Hilmo. 2011. Farrar/Margaret Ferguson, $16.99 (9780374384654). Gr. 6–9.
It’s 1957, and when a preacher’s family meets a sad boy whose mother is in jail, they know they have to right a wrong. Infused with the real meaning of religion.
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