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March 15, 2017 BOOKLIST
Find more Top 10 Religion and Spirituality Books for Youth
This year’s crop of standouts covers a wide range of books that deal with both the lighter and darker sides of religion and spirituality. They were reviewed in Booklist between November 15, 2013, and November 1, 2014.
Deep in the Sahara. By Kelly Cunnane. Illus. by Hoda Hadadi. 2013. Random/Schwartz & Wade, $17.99 (9780375870347). K–Gr. 3.
Lalla, a girl living in Mauritania, wishes to wear a malafa—an airy, colorful cloth worn over clothes and covering the head—like the woman do, but first she must come to realize its true importance.
God Got a Dog. By Cynthia Rylant. Illus. by Marla Frazee. 2013. Simon & Schuster/Beach Lane, $17.99 (9781442465183). Gr. 6–9.
As this book so intriguingly suggests, God comes in many shapes, sizes, and colors. But more than what the deity looks like, this slim volume of 15 poems focuses on what God does.
God Loves Hair. By Vivek Shraya. Illus. by Juliana Neufeld. 2014. Arsenal Pulp, paper, $18.95 (9781551525433). Gr. 9–12.
A kaleidoscopic collection of 21 short stories about a boy, the son of Hindu immigrant parents, growing up genderqueer in Canada.
Gospel of Winter. By Brendan Kiely. 2014. Simon & Schuster/Margaret K. McElderry, $17.99 (9781442484894). Gr. 9–12.
Aidan’s feelings of rage and sorrow are vividly on display in this debut offering that addresses abuse in the Catholic Church.
Jesus. By Anselm Grun. Illus. By Giuliano Ferri. 2014. Eerdmans, $16 (9780802854384). Gr. 2–4.
The author, a German Benedictine monk, offers a simply written account of the life of Jesus, highlighted by radiant illustrations.
This Side of Salvation. By Jeri Smith-Ready. 2014. Simon & Schuster/Simon Pulse, $17.99 (9781442439481). Gr. 9–12.
A brother and sister, mourning the loss of their brother, are further unmoored when their parents become disciples of a charismatic preacher, who awaits the Rapture. A smart, well-rounded story.
The True Tale of the Monster Billy Dean. By David Almond. 2014. Candlewick, $17.99 (9780763663094). Gr. 9–12.
Billy Dean’s father, a priest, is hoping to raise a saint. This powerful book traces the boy’s life, heavily influenced by his parents—one who is of darkness, the other of light.
What the Heart Knows: Chants, Charms, and Blessings. By Joyce Sidman. Illus. by Pamela Zagarenski. 2013. Houghton, $16.99 (9780544106161). Gr. 7–12.
Sideman’s introduction notes that chanting, blessing, lamenting, and cursing are as old as human history. Her poetic offerings will touch readers whose feelings and fears are the same as our ancestors.
The Whispering Town. By Jennifer Elvgren, Illus. by Fabio Santomauro. 2014. Lerner/Kar-Ben, paper, $7.95 (9781467711951). Gr. 2–4.
Based on a true incident, this tells the story of a how a Danish town cleverly saved the Jewish families passing through.
With a Mighty Hand: The Story in the Torah. By Amy Ehrlich. Illus. by Daniel Nevins. 2014. Candlewick, $35 (9780763643959). Gr. 5–8.
Ehrlich does a masterful job with a difficult task: making the first five books of the Jewish bible accessible to young people.
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