FIRE IN THE HEART: A Spiritual Guide for Teens
Deepak Chopra, Author . Simon & Schuster $14.95 (199p) ISBN 97
The author of blockbuster adult guides to spirituality and mind/body health, Chopra addresses a YA audience for the first time with this challenging and inviting book. He frames the book as a series of four daylong exchanges between the then-15-year-old Chopra and a wise old man met on a hill, revolving around four basic questions: "Do I have a soul? How do wishes come true? What is the supreme force in the universe? How can I change the world?" Early on, the wise old man introduces the notion that there is only one soul, of which each person has a piece; and he teaches that the soul can always be trusted. The author adds that other terms have been used for "soul": "spirit, God, the divine spark, the breath of life," and as the book progresses, he increasingly refers to God. For the most part, however, he avoids religion, instead drawing on folktales, quick exercises and everyday examples to engage readers in spiritual explorations. The book concludes with a "Soul Alphabet," an A-to-Z list of easy-to-do but profound spiritual practices designed "to create moments of 'Aha!' every day." Chopra shows a great talent for explaining intangible and complex ideas lucidly and even grippingly, and teens are almost certain to respond to the intelligence and vividness of his presentation. Ages 12-up.
Reviewed on: 04/26/2004