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March 15, 2017 BOOKLIST
Find more Top 10 Religion and Spirituality Books for Youth
These 10 books find spirituality in all sorts of places, from a saint-loving teen’s bedroom to a Vietnamese village to a march for freedom. The books below were chosen from those reviewed in Booklist during the past 12 months.
Angel. By Cliff McNish. 2008. Carolrhoda, $16.95 (9780822589006). Gr. 7–10.
Freya has always wanted to be an angel. Then she learns that she is. The story is grounded in school and bullies, but it also moves to higher realms and gives readers much to ponder.
As Good as Anybody: Martin Luther King Jr. and Abraham Joshua Heschel’s Amazing March toward Freedom. By Richard Michelson. Illus. by Raul Colón. 2008. Knopf, $16.99 (97803758333359). Gr. 2–4.
Michelson shows how the fight for human rights affects everyone in this powerful, well-crafted story about a partnership between two great civil rights leaders, each anchored to his religion.
The Blessing of the Beasts. By Ethel Pochocki. Illus. by Barry Moser. 2007. Paraclete, $18.95 (9781557255020). K–Gr. 3.
This delightful fantasy, handsomely illustrated, features a skunk and a cockroach who decide “there’s more to life than garbage” and head to New York’s Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine for the “blessing of the animals” service.
The Buddha’s Diamonds. By Carolyn Marsden and Thay Phap Niem. 2008. Candlewick, $14.99 (9780763633806) Gr. 3–5.
In this short novel, a Vietnamese child struggles to help his family and find his faith after a cyclone decimates his village.
God’s Dream. By Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Douglas Carlton Abrams. Illus. by LeUyen Pham. 2008. Candlewick, $16.99 (9780763633882). PreS–K.
The coauthors of the adult book God Has a Dream (2004) team with illustrator Pham on a subject dear to their hearts: bringing people together. Here, in energetic scenes, a multicultural cast of children follows God’s dreams about people caring and sharing.
The Light of the World: The Life of Jesus for Children. By Katherine Paterson. Illus. by Francois Roca. 2008. Scholastic/Arthur A. Levine, $17.99 (9780545011730). K–Gr. 3.
Paterson, who spent four years as a missionary in Japan, offers an effective version of the greatest story ever told that is beautifully supported by Roca’s striking paintings.
One City, Two Brothers. By Chris Smith. Illus. by Aurelia Fronty. 2007. Barefoot, $16.99 (9781846860423). K–Gr. 3.
Accomplished folk-style artwork adds an air of hope and peace to this beautifully told tale about two squabbling brothers, a story that has its roots in both Jewish and Arab lore.
Portraits of Jewish American Heroes. By Malka Drucker. Illus. by Elizabeth Rosen. 2008. Dutton, $21.99 (9780525477716). Gr. 3–6.
From Albert Einstein to Steven Spielberg, this invitingly illustrated collective biography also discusses Judaism as a source of idealism for a just society.
The Possibilities of Sainthood. By Donna Freitas. 2008. Farrar/Frances Foster, $16.95 (9780374360870). Gr. 8–10.
Antonia wants to be kissed, but she’d like to be a saint, too. This warm, funny story speaks to faith and to a longing to be part of something greater than oneself.
The Secret World of Hildegard. By Jonah Winter. Illus. by Jeanette Winter. 2007. Scholastic/Arthur A. Levine, $16.99 (9780439507394). Gr. 1–4.
The fascinating story of the Catholic mystic is a complicated one, but the talented Winters do an amazing job of distilling its essence and bringing it to a child’s level.
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