ONE WORLD, MANY RELIGIONS

THE WAYS WE WORSHIP

Despite the title, Osborne (Favorite Norse Myths, 1995, etc.) confines her handsomely packaged introduction to the seven most widespread—not necessarily largest—faiths, describing for each its history, values, major holidays, and distinctive style of worship. All arose, she writes, in response to three questions: How did the world begin? What is the purpose of life? What happens after we die? All have created enduring senses of community and purpose in millions; the author carefully points out similarities, as well as differences. Her tone is respectful, with inconsistently skeptical touches: ``God spoke to Abraham'' and Moses ``stretched his hand over the waters, and they parted,'' but ``according to his followers, Jesus was taken up into heaven,'' and a Zen koan ``is supposed to help students think and see things in a new way.'' The level of detail is not evenhanded either—``women play a vital role in Hinduism'' is an unsupported afterthought relegated to a picture caption, and Osborne points out varieties of practice and belief in Judaism and Christianity, but not in Islam. Many of the several dozen large full-color photos feature children engaged in rites or celebrations, sending the important message that religion isn't just for grown-ups, but the factual information here is not hard to find elsewhere, and next to books like Huston Smith's Illustrated World Religions (1994), the narrow focus will give readers only a limited picture. (index, not seen, bibliography, chronology, map) (Nonfiction. 10-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1996

ISBN: 0-679-86051-7

Page Count: 96

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 1996

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

NIM'S ISLAND

A child finds that being alone in a tiny tropical paradise has its ups and downs in this appealingly offbeat tale from the Australian author of Peeling the Onion (1999). Though her mother is long dead and her scientist father Jack has just sailed off on a quick expedition to gather plankton, Nim is anything but lonely on her small island home. Not only does she have constant companions in Selkie, a sea lion, and a marine iguana named Fred, but Chica, a green turtle, has just arrived for an annual egg-laying—and, through the solar-powered laptop, she has even made a new e-mail friend in famed adventure novelist Alex Rover. Then a string of mishaps darkens Nim’s sunny skies: her father loses rudder and dish antenna in a storm; a tourist ship that was involved in her mother’s death appears off the island’s reefs; and, running down a volcanic slope, Nim takes a nasty spill that leaves her feverish, with an infected knee. Though she lives halfway around the world and is in reality a decidedly unadventurous urbanite, Alex, short for “Alexandra,” sets off to the rescue, arriving in the midst of another storm that requires Nim and companions to rescue her. Once Jack brings his battered boat limping home, the stage is set for sunny days again. Plenty of comic, freely-sketched line drawings help to keep the tone light, and Nim, with her unusual associates and just-right mix of self-reliance and vulnerability, makes a character young readers won’t soon tire of. (Fiction. 10-12)

Pub Date: March 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-375-81123-0

Page Count: 144

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2000

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

THE RIGHT-UNDER CLUB

Summertime finds a strange combination of five middle-schoolers high up in a leafy tree house in their newly formed support group, the “R.U. Club,” where the secret is what “R.U.” means and what they do in the club. They could not be more unlike one another and yet each deeply understands what it is like to live in a new family because of death or divorce: They feel like leftovers, “even though we are right under their noses.” Each one takes a turn to describe her concern or worry. Anonymously, in written suggestions and then in group brainstorming sessions, they discuss solutions. Then as the girls put their trust in collective wisdom and thoughtfully apply effort and action through careful heartfelt adherence to club rules, camaraderie develops. Mounting interest in the characters and their adjustments to family life builds to a too-sweet conclusion, which could be redressed in a sequel, yet five genuine multifaceted characters together with their families make a large cast of characters. which Deriso handles adeptly. An interesting group that begs for a sequel. (Fiction. 10-12)

Pub Date: July 10, 2007

ISBN: 978-0-385-73334-2

Page Count: 160

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2007

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more