February 12, 2013
Faith and belief
Soul Searching: Thirteen Stories about Faith and Belief
These stories attempt to provoke thought and discussion about the conflicts between faith and belief. The teen characters are still struggling with identity issues and their religious faith (or lack of one) heavily influence their personal developments. There are a few good stories: The Shunning of Sadie B. Zook, in which an Amish girl copes with an out-of-wedlock pregnancy; The Funeral, set in Thailand, about an apprentice monk; The Olive Grove, in which the conflict between Palestinians and Israelis are played out in an ancient olive grove; and Star Vision, a free verse poem about a Native-American vision quest ceremony. Other stories seem incomplete, with one, The Evil Eye, about a Venezuelan cult, is overlong and just plain weird. But they will have teens pondering new ideas and different perspectives.