The Lightening Thief: Percy Jackson and the Olympians, by Rick RiordanThe first chapter did not grab me. I wasn't sure what I expected but what I was reading wasn't it. That's o.k., by the 2nd I was hooked. A fun, witty read, much like Eoin Colfer's Artemis Fowl series. The bonus with Riordan's series is that he makes learning Greek myths and characters fun. Very fun. And witty. Went right ahead and ordered the 2nd and 3rd from the library. Ds 15 is enjoying them, too, and, happily, we are on "Ancients" this year. I won't, however, be handing these to my 10 year old- to many graphic, creepy images and things "lurking." Heaven and hell are also addressed, albeit through the lense of Greek mythology so, imho, it's only for those with a well-formed understanding of what they believe. In other words, kids beyond concrete operations.
Zero G by Alton GanskyOur family follows the space program and looks to the stars regularly, thanks to the science, astronomy geek husband I married. He can tell you the space missions, who flew, what's happening on the space station and what stars are in conjunction at any given time. He and the kids have been known to spend hours looking at computer screens, watching someone on the Shuttle do some mundane (is anything mundane in space?) task with the RMS, while on their way to the ISS. Is it any wonder, then, that Feche boy picked this up at the library. It is actually published by Zondervan with several references to faith and one's personal struggles with faith and belief despite tragedy. Zero-G is under Sci-F, I'm assuming because it addresses the commercialization of space, but the reality of that is immanent. Great character development and Gansky's ability to organize the complex details and characters he creates makes this a fast paced and fun read. The conclusion was a bit too quick for my taste but good enough. Ganky just got added to our list of authors we really like around here.
The 7 Faith Tribes by George BarnaAccording to the extensive research the Barna Group does there are 7 Faith Tribes in the U.S.; Casual Christians, Captive Christians, American Jews, Mormons, Pantheists, Muslims and Spiritual Skeptics. Barna's discussion focuses on the worldview clash that is taking place amongst these faith tribes, the values that are being lost, redefined and pushed by the influence of these tribes and what it will take to come together as a multi-million person community with opposing world views, or not. I've done a lot of reading on apologetics and world view but this was a great book to really nail down the demographics of the various "tribes", their beliefs, values and what drives them. Another good book for your high schoolers current events or apologetics course to round out and develop their understanding of those they share a country but not necessarily a value system with. 2 of my nieces are currently seriously "dating" men who come from a different faith tribe than their family, which is causing no small amount of grief for the moms. I'll be recommending this book to both. Gotta love Barna's deep desire to utilize the natural resources of our country- the people- to continue making this the land of the free and the home of the brave. Very interesting reading.