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Christian Mythology for Kids Hardcover – April 5, 2016
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About the Author
Chrystine is an enthusiastic atheist and the mother of two mindful and inquisitive boys. In 2012, when their oldest was just a baby, she and her husband started a meetup group for families to connect and create a secular community. This Phoenix-based group has grown into 200+ families! Having been raised in a fundamentalist Catholic Christian household, Chrystine is well-versed in the beliefs and stories of Christianity. She found her own voice and opinion when she was 18 years old and has been on an enlightening journey of free thought ever since.
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The book begins each story with a paragraph explaining the background of the story in today's culture, or hints at how various modern Christian sects view it. Then the story is told, and at the end, there are various footnotes explaining things further, or, more often, pointing out how the story is immoral, wrong, untrue, unfactual, or without proof. Frankly, I came away from each and every story feeling somewhat ill at ease. It reads less like a book on mythology for children and more like a guide to debunking it.
My books on Greek mythology and Norse mythology and Hindu mythology and African mythology don't do this. Perhaps they don't need to, here, in America, where "everyone knows" those religions are nothing but fantasy. But I wanted the same treatment for Christianity. I wanted a book telling these myths in a (fantastic? is that too much to hope for?) way that children could understand the storyline without being exposed to the dogma of it. I got more than that - but also less, because some of the 'extras' seem, to me, to detract from the stories themselves.
That said, it's a book I'll keep and leave on my shelves. It would be fine book for somewhat older kids to read to themselves, but it's just not quite what I'm looking for. The stories were less engaging than I hoped for, the footnotes smacked at times of criticism for criticism's sake, and I just don't know how much I'll use this as a resource.
She explains both Bible stories and Christian lore- like Angles and Demons and Saints.
The book seems to cover the most popular Bible stories- so your child will be prepped to understand pop-culture references like on Supernatural.
Many stories have a note about the historical significance of that Bible story.
It is organized into the old and new Testaments- and most stories are clearly written to re-tell it as an interesting story- as myths should be.
She does a very good job explaining that Jesus was a good man trying to do good things and tells many Jesus stories that are not just the birth and resurrection.
The author is a strong atheist and adds comments- so just like I don't really like the commentary in the books when Christians write Greek Mytholgy books- I don't appreciate her commentary on how belief in deity is stupid. She tries to keep most of that to her notes that come before or after the story- not in the middle of the stories, but sometimes it slips out. So I will be reading this book to my younger kids and skipping all of her dialogue- as I would rather be more UU about our discussions than the author. And I have crossed out a few paragraphs- including her explanation of how miracles don't exist.
Some of the stories in the old testament are in the wrong order.
Some of the stories I love her version of, and some feel odd- like an atheist retelling a story from a pentecostal church- something feels lost in translation.
Because of all her commentary, I don't feel good about just giving the book to the kids to read to themselves. My teen can read it and discuss it with me and think for herself about it- but not my 9 year old, who loves mythology.