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Book lists

For kids and teens who are Agnostic,
Atheist, Humanist, Unitarian Universalist,
 Progressive Christian, skeptic, etc.

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Books for non-theistic and religiously liberal children:

bullet Helen Bennett, "Humanism, What's That?: A Book for Curious Kids," Prometheus Books, New Ed edition, (2005). For ages 9 to 12. Read reviews or order this book
Amazon reviewer G. R. S. Godwin wrote:

"I read this to my 11 year old. He loved it and uses it's concepts and ideas in his dealings with friends and teachers at school. If you want to teach your kids HOW to think instead of WHAT to think, this book is a must."

bullet Chris Brockman, "What about Gods?" Prometheus Books, (1979). Read reviews or order this book
An anonymous Amazon reviewer wrote:

"This book gives a concise overview of an immensely over complicated human condition. The creation of god by man is explained simply and clearly for a child. I wish I had been exposed to this book when I was about eight years old. It could have saved me much self doubt and turmoil resulting from early indoctrination."

bullet Steve Jenkins, "Life on Earth: The Story of Evolution," Houghton Mifflin, (2002). For ages 8 to 11. Read reviews or order this book Caution: The book contains one colossal glaring error: it allegedly says that the human/primate common ancestor was descended from apes.
Amazon reviewer April Spitzer wrote:

"I'm always on the look-out for engaging, informative books on the development of life on earth. My kids and I have actually read quite a few of them. I consider this book one of the better ones for young kids. It does not speak down to kids, nor is it too complicated. The illustrations are Eric Carle-esque with their paper designs and interesting to young ones."

bullet Jennifer Morgan, "Born With a Bang: The Universe Tells Our Cosmic Story," Dawn Publications, (2002). Read reviews or order this book Caution: The book describes cosmological development in the form of a 15 billion-year-old conscious universe writing a letter to an Earth child. Some adults may find this a bit odd.
Amazon reviewer David Miller wrote:

"I read this book with my daughters when they were in kindergarten - I helped with the big words, of course, and with some of the scientific concepts. Morgan's unusual idea of introducing cosmology to young children by treating the origin and development of the universe as an autobiographical tale, narrated in first person by the Universe herself, actually works. The brilliantly colorful illustrations are a great complement to the text, and kids (and, I suspect, most adults) can acquire some serious knowledge while enjoying themselves by going through this book."

bullet Lisa Westberg Peters, "Our Family Tree: An evolution story," Amazon Remainders Account, (2003). Read reviews or order this book
Amazon reviewer E.R. Bird wrote:

"... this is a good informative text. Children reading it should be a little older, in order to fully grasp exactly what is being said. For them, however, this book serves as an excellent resource. The pictures are lovely and the facts are mostly on the ball. A lovely addition to any children's evolution library."

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Books for non-theistic and religiously liberal teens:

bullet Dan Barker, "Maybe Right, Maybe Wrong: A Guide for Young Thinkers," Prometheus Books, (1992). Read reviews or order this book
Amazon reviewer J. Hittinger wrote:

"It discusses how best to instruct children on the notions of morality and ethics without brainwashing them. The important thing to note here is that the book considers children to be intelligent and capable of independent thought. The problem, Barker seems to theorize, is that children too often are not spending time thinking critically and are merely acting impulsively. This book provides parents and mentors with the know-how needed to teach children how to interpret situations rather than react to them spontaneously, how to analyze problems, and how to become adult thinkers."

bullet Dan Barker, "Maybe Yes, Maybe No: A Guide for Young Skeptics," Prometheus Books, (1990). Read reviews or order this book
An anonymous reader wrote:

"Barker provides simple illustrations of what is proof, why it's unwise to believe everything you hear, how to listen carefully, ask questions, seek clear answers, display curiosity and look for better explanations--all illustrated in an unfolding story about kids looking for ghosts. The reasoning processes that apply in the search for ghosts also are shown to apply to a skeptic look at claims for UFOs, ESP, telepathy, telekinesis, prophesy, out of body experience, dowsing, levitation, astrology, horoscopes and faith healing. The refrain throughout to the young reader is, 'What do you think'?"

Another source:

Another source might be the Unitarian Universalist Association. This is the central organization of Unitarian Universalism, a very liberal religion whose religious education courses for children involve comparative religion classes which study all of the major world religions. Their bookstore is at: http://www.uua.org/bookstore/  That page has links to children's books, religious education books and youth/young adult books.

Periodicals:

bullet Skeptic Magazine: a publication of The Skeptic Society. See: http://www.skeptic.com/ Most issues contain a section "Junior Skeptic" directed at teens.

Some articles in the following magazines may be of interest to older teens:

bullet The Humanist Magazine is published by the American Humanist Association. See: http://www.thehumanist.org/

bullet Free Inquiry: a publication of the Council for Secular Humanism, at: http://www.secularhumanism.org/

bullet Skeptical Inquirer Magazine: a publication of the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal (CSICOP). See: http://www.csicop.org/si/

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Copyright 2007 to 2011 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally written: 2007-JUL-18
Latest update: 2011-AUG-21
Author: B.A. Robinson

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