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Books for Youth
Light By Bruce Watson
Watson is an excellent writer, and if this book doesn’t become the popular primer on its subject for quite some time, we’ll have to call out the conspiracy theorists to explain. Bookended by visits to those modern-day gawker-magnets, Stonehenge and Newgrange, the story he tells is a thread spun of the three strands of religion and philosophy, art, and science.
He Reads: Cult Classics By David Wright
Ah, cult classics. These are the books whose titles come to us scrawled on the back of a matchbook cover, passed along in fervent recommendations yelled at parties or in bars. People don’t so much suggest you read these titles as insist you do, often with more than a hint of peer pressure: “How can you not have read
, man?!” American Psycho
The Back Page: Fifty Shades of the Bible By Ilene Cooper
[Editor’s note: yes, that’s my picture up there, but, no, I did not write this column. Here’s why: I had no religious education whatsoever and know almost nothing about the Bible. My parents weren’t particularly religious, but I take full responsibility for what many would call my failings in this regard. Matters of belief aside, as an English major, I really should have realized the importance of biblical stories in world literature and done a little homework.
Read-alikes: Meditative Picture Books By Sarah Hunter
Religions often provide a framework for addressing death, from dealing with grief to conceptualizing an afterlife to considering what it all means. Picture books address this, too, though often in more oblique terms, offering the youngest set an opportunity to think about the great beyond. The following titles explore death and its ramifications, all in approachable packages—some lighthearted, some achingly serious—ideal for curious, contemplative children.
Top 10 Inspirational Fiction: 2015 By Donna Seaman
Questions of family, love, commitment, and responsibility are dramatized with sensitivity, humor, and suspense in the best inspirational novels reviewed in
Booklist between November 15, 2014, and November 1, 2015. By Jen Turano. 2015. Bethany, paper, $14.99 (9780764212758). After a Fashion.
Core Collection: Challenging Religious Fiction for Youth By Ilene Cooper
As Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan wrote recently in
The Booklist Reader, the #WeNeedDiverseBooks hashtag should also include religion titles. Our annual Religion and Spirituality issue makes it clear that novels on the subject aren’t in abundance. Nevertheless, the last decade has produced some outstanding, challenging books that deal with the subject with intelligence, sensitivity, and power—provided the reader is ready to get serious.