Thursday, January 24, 2008
Evolution, Me and Other Freaks of Nature
Brande, Robin. 2007. EVOLUTION, ME AND OTHER FREAKS OF NATURE. New York: Knopf. ISBN 9780375843495 [Suggested Grade Levels 7-12]
“When you are single-handedly responsible for getting your church, your pastor, and every one of your former friends, and their parents sued for millions of dollars, you expect to make some enemies. Fine.” So begins Mena’s first year of high school—her former friends hate her, her parents aren’t speaking to her, and she’s been kicked out of her church because she went against her church and her friends who were trying to reform a supposedly gay schoolmate with prayerful harassment when she both tries to support him and “blows the whistle” on the harassment.
Mena starts high school with her former friends hating her. When her former church and friends lead a campaign to have intelligent design taught along side evolution, Mena finds herself again on the wrong side of others’ expectations. The book chronicles Mena’s struggles to accept that believing in God and believing in evolution are not mutually exclusive.
Adding to the book’s appeal is a first boyfriend whose family opens her eyes and her mind while giving her the support that her family does not give—and introduces her to Lord of the Rings and kissing.
If you are comfortable in leading a discussion on a very controversial and divisive subject, this book would be an excellent choice for a high school book club. Under the right circumstances, it could be used with a biology unit on evolution.
Other books dealing with evolution, intelligent design, and creationism:
Braun, Eric (ed). AT ISSUE SERIES—CREATIONISM VERSUS EVOLUTION. ISBN 9780737727043
Morris, Henry M (ed). SCIENTIFIC CREATIONISM. ISBN 9780890510032
Sloan, Christopher. THE HUMAN STORY: OUR EVOLUTION FROM PREHISTORIC ANCESTORS TO TODAY. ISBN 9780792263258
By Janet Hilbun