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February 1, 2016 BOOKLIST
Find more Top 10 Religion and Spirituality Books for Youth
These titles take readers from nineteenth-century China to modern-day America and look at the impact religion and spirituality can have on the lives of young people. The selections below were reviewed in Booklist from November 15, 2012, through November 1, 2013.
Issues of religion and responsibility get a refreshingly thorny examination in this story of the sole survivor of a Jerusalem suicide bombing.
Boxers. By Gene Luen Yang. Illus. by the author. 2013. First Second, paper, $18.99 (9781596433595). Gr. 7–11.
Saints. By Gene Luen Yang. Illus. by the author. 2013. First Second, paper, $15.99 (9781596436893). Gr. 7–11.
Released as companion volumes, Yang’s latest graphic novels offer opposing views of the Boxer Rebellion. Boxers follows Little Bao, who reacts to religious and cultural oppression by leading a provincial uprising. Saints centers on Four-Girl, an outcast who embraces Christianity and places herself in the dangerous path of the Boxers.
The Garden of My Imaan. By Farhana Zia. 2013. Peachtree, $15.95 (9781561456987). Gr. 5–8.
In a wry first-person narrative, Muslim fifth-grader Aliya discusses the struggles and strengths she discovers as she encounters bullying and racism.
Giving Thanks: Poems, Prayers, and Praise Songs of Thanksgiving. By Katherine Paterson. Illus. by Pamela Dalton. 2013. Chronicle, $18.99 (9781452113395). All ages.
Newbery medalist Paterson and cut-paper artist extraordinaire Dalton combine their considerable talents in this book of poems, hymns, and snippets of praise songs from various cultures and religions.
Hereville: How Mirka Met a Meteorite. By Barry Deutsch. Illus. by the author. 2012. Abrams/Amulet, $16.95 (9781419703980). Gr. 4–7.
Deutsch continues his delightful and unique fantasy series featuring a modern Orthodox Jewish girl who is often bolder and braver than most 11-year-olds.
Mouse Bird Snake Wolf. By David Almond. Illus. by Dave McKean. 2013. Candlewick, $17.99 (9780753659127). Gr. 2–5.
In this original fable of creation, loaded with both playfulness and darkness, gods grow complacent, and three children are inspired to fill the holes.
The Oldest Bedtime Story Ever. By Benjamin Morse. Illus. by the author. 2012. Orson & Co., $30 (9780985813505). K–Gr. 2.
Morse, both scholar and artist, trims biblical stories to a few lines or paragraphs and fills in the blanks with wonderfully original collage-style artwork.
The Path of Names. By Ari Goelman. 2013. Scholastic/Arthur A. Levine, $16.99 (9780545474306). Gr. 5–8.
Set at a summer camp, this complex fantasy introduces spunky Dahlia, who uses the Jewish mystical tradition of kabbalah to solve the mysteries that surround her.
Stones for Grandpa. By Renee Londner. Illus. by Martha Aviles. 2013. Lerner/Kar-Ben, $17.95 (9780761374954). PreS–Gr. 1.
As the first anniversary of his grandfather’s death approaches, a young boy remembers him in this sensitive, thoughtful story that never becomes maudlin.
Zayde Comes to Live. By Sheri Sinykin. Illus. by Kristina Swarner. 2012. Peachtree, $16.95 (9781561456314). PreS–Gr. 2.
This moving story about the death of a grandparent is surprisingly direct about how different religions view the subject. An excellent jumping-off point for discussion.
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