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World religions

Ali-Karamali, Sumbul Growing Up Muslim: Understanding the Beliefs and Practices of Islam
High school   214 pp. Delacorte

Ali-Karamali balances facts, personal experience, and thoughtful discussion in this accessible introduction to Islam, written in an easygoing, occasionally humor-sparked style. Explanations of rules and practices lead naturally into good summations of Muhammad’s life, the religion’s spread, the plurality of Muslim expression, and distinctions between universals and varieties of interpretation; this will serve for both personal reading and research. Bib., ind.
Subjects: General religion; Muhammad; Muslims; Religion—Islam

Baggini, Julian Really, Really Big Questions About God, Faith, and Religion
Gr. 46   64 pp. Kingfisher/Macmillan

Illustrated by Nishant Choksi. Baggini’s book poses plenty of questions for readers: “Can a baby have a religion?” “Could there be more than one God?” “Can we criticize religion?” “What is the Devil?” He doesn’t offer any definitive answers, allowing for intriguing discussion possibilities for receptive readers. Cartoon illustrations contribute to the lightness of tone.
Subjects: General religion; Religion—God

Dalton, David Sikhism: Inderjeet’s Story
Gr. 4–6   32 pp. New Forest

Wallace, Holly Buddhism: Yuranan’s Story
Gr. 4–6   32 pp. New Forest

Wallace, Holly Christianity: Herbert’s Story
Gr. 4–6   32 pp. New Forest

Wallace, Holly Hinduism: Babu’s Story
Gr. 4–6   32 pp. New Forest

Wallace, Holly Islam: Hambali’s Story
Gr. 4–6   32 pp. New Forest

Wallace, Holly Judaism: Yoni’s Story
Gr. 4–6   32 pp. New Forest

Our World of Faith series. This series outlines various world religions through the voices of young people, including Herbert, a Christian who lives in Uganda, and Yuranan, a Buddhist from Thailand. While coverage is more broad than deep, each volume illustrates key scriptures, places of worship, rites of passage, rituals, and holidays. The accessible texts are enhanced with engaging photos in a lively design. Glos., ind.
Subjects: General religion; Jews; Religion—Judaism; Religion—Islam; Muslims; Religion—Hinduism; Religion—Christianity; Religion—Buddhism; Religion—Sikhism

McFarlane, Marilyn Sacred Stories: Wisdom from World Religions
High school   178 pp. Simon/Aladdin

(Reissue, 1996, Sibyl.) In this reissue (previously titled Sacred Myths), tales from various creeds — Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, and Native American religions — are retold as short vignettes in modern language. The brief, engaging stories are not meant as substitutes for comprehensive overviews of belief systems, but the informational sidebars and suggested books will inspire curious readers to dig deeper. Reading list, websites. Glos.
Subjects: General religion; Short stories; Mythology

Snyder, Laurel The Longest Night: A Passover Story
Gr. K–3   32 pp. Random/Schwartz & Wade

Illustrated by Catia Chien. A young Jewish slave describes the ten plagues and the Israelites’ hurried flight from Egypt in impeccable rhyming couplets. Dark, expansive acrylic illustrations are well matched with the text (some, such as a full-page, open-jawed wolf, may be too intense for very young readers). The concluding spreads, featuring the parting of the Red Sea and a gorgeous sunrise, are a treat. Glos.
Subjects: Religious holidays; Stories in rhyme; Jews; Egypt; Slavery; Religion—Bible; Religion—Judaism;

From the November 2013 issue of Nonfiction Notes from the Horn Book.

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