cover image Religions Explained: A Beginner's Guide to World Faith

Religions Explained: A Beginner's Guide to World Faith

Anita Ganeri, Marcus Braybrooke. Twenty-First Century Books (CT), $18.95 (72pp) ISBN 978-0-8050-4874-2

This lively primer provides brief but memorable snapshots of various world religions, from both past and present. A global approach suggesting that ""most religions now try to live and work more peacefully together"" places Ganeri's work in context for young readers who are exploring their own faith and are hopefully striving to be tolerant of others' beliefs. From the Olympians of Ancient Greece to modern Hindus, Muslims and Amish, the profiles here range across the religious spectrum. In a well-paced, straightforward style, Ganeri discusses each religion's beliefs, symbols, sacred texts, important rites and major festivals. She also introduces readers to commonly-held perceptions about many religious groups, such as the charge that new members of religious cults are brainwashed. Consistently intriguing color photographs and occasional illustrations energize the book's design, and the longish captions accompanying the artwork supply significant and compelling factual information. A glossary and index make investigating a specific topic a breeze, and, while Ganeri's volume is far from encyclopedic, it will whet young people's appetites for further research. Ages 7-up (Mar.) FYI: Ganeri has also contributed the volume What Do We Know About Hinduism? to the ""What Do We Know About"" series from Peter Bedrick Books. The series' nonfiction titles look at the culture, history, and religion of people from all over the world. Other religions titles are: What Do We Know About Judaism?, by Doreen Fine, and What Do We Know About Sikhism?, by Beryl Dhanjal. (Peter Bedrick Books, each $18.95, ISBN 0-87226-385-1; -386-X; -387-8, ages 7-up, Jan.)