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  #51  
Old 11-07-2008, 09:16 AM
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Instead of undermining her Christianity, how about getting her books by Christian writers who don't view doubt and inquisitiveness as faithlessness?
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Old 11-07-2008, 09:54 AM
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Instead of undermining her Christianity, how about getting her books by Christian writers who don't view doubt and inquisitiveness as faithlessness?
This is a good idea, though I'm sure it wasn't Skald's intent to necessarily undermine her Christianity or to counteract fundamentalist propaganda with atheist propaganda. (He did, after all, mention that he had plenty of Tolkien and Lewis.) Other examples might include Madeleine L'Engle or some of the people Philip Yancey writes about in Soul Survivor.
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Old 11-07-2008, 10:19 AM
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This is a good idea, though I'm sure it wasn't Skald's intent to necessarily undermine her Christianity or to counteract fundamentalist propaganda with atheist propaganda.
I know, but that is the intent of many of the books suggested by the posters. I was just trying to come up with a different approach.
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Old 11-07-2008, 10:24 AM
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Btw, I do recall now it wasn't Oneness that is Skald's background- it's Church of God in Christ.

However, Skald is asking for books for a young "skeptic", not a young "searcher", so I'm don't know if he'd want to give books that ultimately did support religious faith.
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Old 11-07-2008, 10:31 AM
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Fabulous Science by John Waller is a good one. It's very easy to read yet thoroughly researched. It also devotes a whole chapter on misconceptions about the Victorian view of Darwinism (i.e. the Huxley-Wilberforce debate) which is still relevant today.
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Old 11-07-2008, 10:39 AM
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You say "almost all." Any idea what they left behind in fantasy?

For mid-teens, I'd say go with some girl power, strong female heroines:

Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale
First Test by Tamora Pierce
Shadowland by Meg Cabot
Moon Called by Patricia Briggs
Sabriel by Garth Nix
Green Rider by Kristen Britain

YA is chock full of Buffy wannabes right now. I consider it a great trend, showing girls that it isn't just males who get to kick ass and take names.
Kim thnks highly of Hale & Cabot; she hadn't heard of the others. Any thoughts on the relative merits of these?
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Old 11-07-2008, 10:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Thudlow Boink View Post
This is a good idea, though I'm sure it wasn't Skald's intent to necessarily undermine her Christianity or to counteract fundamentalist propaganda with atheist propaganda. (He did, after all, mention that he had plenty of Tolkien and Lewis.) Other examples might include Madeleine L'Engle or some of the people Philip Yancey writes about in Soul Survivor.
I didn't mention L'Engle, though I adore her, because we have at least three copies of all the Murray & Austin books, as I began my replace-all-paperbacks-with-hardbacks with her.

And I see no reason to undermine her Christianity and encourage her skepticism; getting grounded for being honest and for having a lean and hungry look will do that nicely.
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Old 11-07-2008, 10:44 AM
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Btw, I do recall now it wasn't Oneness that is Skald's background- it's Church of God in Christ.

However, Skald is asking for books for a young "skeptic", not a young "searcher", so I'm don't know if he'd want to give books that ultimately did support religious faith.
I don't care if she's Christian or not. Kim is Christian, and so are my nieces, and that detracts not a jot from their loveability. I just want her to be free to think for herself.
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Old 11-07-2008, 11:19 AM
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Kim thnks highly of Hale & Cabot; she hadn't heard of the others. Any thoughts on the relative merits of these?
All of them are fantasies, and all have female leads. I'll put them in order from youngest to oldest:

First Test by Tamora Pierce is the first of a four book series about a young girl who decides to become a knight. The first book is only okay, but as the series progresses, the story, and the character, become more and more interesting. The whole series, though, might feel a bit young for your niece, depending on her tastes.

Sabriel by Garth Nix is the first of a four book series about a young girl whose father is a necromancer. He is killed and she has to take on his role to control the dead. This is a brilliant series and I recommend it for everyone.

Green Rider by Kristen Britain is the first of (I think) three books about a girl who wants to be a messenger.

Moon Called by Patricia Briggs is about a woman who can turn into a coyote. This is by far the most adult of the books I recommended, though it's not extremely graphic. There's definitely sex and violence, so this would be if your niece is advanced and mature.

Sabriel is the one I would recommend the highest.

Last edited by wonky; 11-07-2008 at 11:20 AM.
  #60  
Old 11-07-2008, 11:57 AM
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I would suggest any of the several books by Sarah Vowell. A little unorthodox, seeing as most of them are more center-left political commentary than skepticism, but Vowell is an atheist and they provide (to me) a good perspective of an atheist reacting to the influence religion has had on history and current events.

Plus, they're funny as all get-out.
  #61  
Old 11-07-2008, 11:58 AM
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Good idea. Some of these other books sound like hard work!
I know. Maybe they're being recommended by young people who still have all their energy and stuff (and don't just want a little bit of fluff reading before they fall asleep at 10:00) .
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Old 11-07-2008, 12:02 PM
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I third ( or whatever) The Golden Compass.

How about some Harry Potter. I personally cannot see what is evil or demonic in it, but if a wad Evangelicals get a bee up their nose about it, it is good enough for me too read. (Ironically, the Catholic Church said it was ok. My mind boggles. Why can't these religious folk all be on the same page?)


Your best thingie with your neice is to tell her you are buying her books to read at your place, anything she wants, and when she is on her own the collection is hers.
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Old 11-07-2008, 12:03 PM
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I would suggest any of the several books by Sarah Vowell. A little unorthodox, seeing as most of them are more center-left political commentary than skepticism, but Vowell is an atheist and they provide (to me) a good perspective of an atheist reacting to the influence religion has had on history and current events.

Plus, they're funny as all get-out.
Good call. And that made me think about The Year of Living Biblically and The Know-It-All. Both great books, both books that take a real look at the world around us.

The year of living biblically in particular is interesting in that it is writen by an Agnostic who was raised as a Jew who spends a year following the bible as literally as he possibly can...and comes out the other side still agnostic, but with a greater appreciation for both sides of the debate on relegion. It's very funny, and educational all at the same time.

Both written by A. J. Jacobs.
  #64  
Old 11-07-2008, 06:26 PM
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I don't care if she's Christian or not. Kim is Christian, and so are my nieces, and that detracts not a jot from their loveability. I just want her to be free to think for herself.
OK, then I second Yancey.

Off the skepticism/religion thing a bit, the UPPITY WOMEN series is fantastic.
  #65  
Old 11-10-2008, 09:00 AM
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Originally Posted by sciurophobic View Post
Instead of undermining her Christianity, how about getting her books by Christian writers who don't view doubt and inquisitiveness as faithlessness?
Along these lines, I can recommend The Language of God, by Francis S. Collins, who is both a scientist (head of the Human Genome Project) and a Christian.

The subtitle's somewhat misleading, since the main thrust of the book is not "providing evidence for belief." What Collins does do is describe his own spiritual journey and reasons for believing; give a brief science lesson; make a case for Darwinian evolution from a geneticist's perspective; and, in perhaps the best part of the book, explain what's wrong with Young Earth Creationism and Inteligent Design, but also what's wrong with Dawkins-style aggressive scientific atheism, and explain his (Collins's) own point of view that allows science and faith to be reconciled.
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Old 11-10-2008, 09:20 AM
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Instead of undermining her Christianity, how about getting her books by Christian writers who don't view doubt and inquisitiveness as faithlessness?
Why don't you suggest some of these thoughtful Christian writers?
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