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One World, Many Religions: The Ways We Worship Hardcover – October 1, 1996

4.6 out of 5 stars 28 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

It's hard enough to find a good survey of world religions for adults, let alone for children, so when I found One World, Many Religions, I was stunned. With a sensitivity for detail and an easy style, Mary Pope Osborne delivers a valuable introduction to all of the world's major religions: Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism and Taoism. The balanced yet brief treatment; vibrant photographs depicting children around the world engaged in worship; the glossary, map and timeline all work to provide a concise, informative and engrossing introduction to the variety of religions everywhere.

From School Library Journal

Grade 4-7-A solid overview of the world's major religions. Osborne notes elements common to most faiths and provides a rationale for the focus on Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, and Taoism (in that order), all of which have a written tradition, so sources can be cited. The author covers the history, main figures, current status, and traditions or rituals associated with each faith. Back matter includes a population breakdown (numerically and graphically). While the presentation is notable for its respect to each group, succinctness, and clarity, the text is not exhaustive. Holidays, for example, are covered in one or two sentences. Major points are not covered uniformly: while reincarnation is described under Hinduism, heaven and hell are not mentioned in Christianity. Readers requiring depth will do well to use books on individual faiths. This title succeeds in providing an overall context for readers by relating a given spiritual leader's time period or tenets to previously covered material. The artful, full-page, color and black-and-white photographs tell much of the story. The tight prose, abundant white space, and use of color make this title an attractive alternative to Hiley Ward's chattier My Friends' Beliefs (Walker, 1988 o.p.); it offers a difference in flavor and scope to Betsy Maestro's The Story of Religion (Clarion, 1996), illustrated with paintings. Most libraries will want to own Osborne's offering.
Wendy Lukehart, Dauphin County Library, Harrisburg,
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Hardcover: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers; 1st edition (October 1, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0679839305
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679839309
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 0.4 x 11.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #48,724 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Delton H. Krueger on April 2, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Osborne presents a well illustrated book on world religions that is apparently for children but is more than adequate for most adults. Sentences are brief. Words are not overwhelming - a glossary defines new expressions. The book can be a starting point for satisfying curiosity about great world religions. It is also a great help in reminding oneself about the basics.
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Mary Pope Osborne has been a favorite of my daughter's for two years. She immediately picked up this book and began reading. It is so important for our children to learn about the many faiths to which people in our world cleave. Osborne presents each of the major religions in an illuminating, fair, and systematic manner.

If someone is looking for their own faith to be held up among the rest, then they should avoid this book. Christianity is given no better position than Hinduism, which is exactly how a book like this should be. Still, I can imagine angry zealots railing away that their "one true faith" is mistreated and compared unfairly to the "lesser" faiths. There is no reasonable comeback to such criticism - walk away.

I am happy to find that there are a few books out there that will serve to educate, not indoctrinate my children about religion and its role in various societies.
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Format: Hardcover
I bought this book for my 8 year old daughter to give her an overview of the different religions that people celebrate. It has wonderful pictures, and by reading it together I was able to answer all her questions. The chapters on the different religions were simply stated and easily understood. It is a great resource to begin the disscuss with your child about all the differences around the world...differences that should be understood, celebrated, and recognized.
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By S. Bates on November 6, 2014
Format: Hardcover
My daughter was interested in reading a book about the practices of different religions. I thought this would be a great book because it had great reviews and it was written by the author of the Magic School Bus books. However, I did not like this book. One thing that really bothered me was the fact that the author included the protestant-Christian-version of the ten commandments in the Judaism section. The author seems to be unaware that the Jewish, Catholic, and protestant religions have somewhat different versions of the ten commandments. It also used the word "history" to describe some events that have been shown to not be true to history. This made me question the accuracy of information in the book that I was not as familiar with. Another thing that I did not like was that events, including ones that many would consider legendary, were treated as fact. This may have just been the writing style that the author selected. However, my daughter found it confusing. Obviously, many people like this book. However, it was not for us.
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Format: Hardcover
Everyone should read this book.
It is suitable for children as young as 5 or 6 (read to by an adult) for older readers to enjoy by themselves, AND for adults like me, who just wanted to be a little less ignorant of other people's beliefs and traditions.
The best thing about this book (which outlines the seven most practised religions in the world) is that it shows us, very gently, how all our traditions and religions have a very similar basic belief - loving one another - and that the only real difference between our faiths is HOW we go about that. It is a super book for informing one a little about the holidays and traditions of our friends' religions, just enough that we might all have a little more respect for them.
The fact that it is a book suited to children (as well as adults) does mean that some of the specifics of each reliegion are glossed over, but this is only right in the context of a book who's message surely is that the specifics are far less important than the basic truth of all these religions - love.
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"One World, Many Religions: The Ways We Worship" by Mary Pope Osborne is the perfect cornerstone to teaching children about the religions of the world. It is almost like a coffee table book written for children. There are beautiful pictures and easy to follow text about the world's major religions including: Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism and Taoism.

I know what you are thinking! "Mary Pope Osborne? Isn't she the lady who wrote all of those Magic Tree House books?" Yup! It's the same author. Apparently she also has her degree in religion from the University of North Carolina, and has traveled all over the world including the Middle East and Asia. Interestingly, from the cover jacket info at least, it does not appear that she has children of her own.

My son and I have been reading from "One World, Many Religions" in pieces, in relation to the other books from our current reading list. For example, after reading kiddie versions of the Bhagavad-Gita and Ramayana, we went back to "One World" and read the chapter on Hinduism. This made the picture of a monk feeding a monkey at a temple in honor of Hanuman, extra meaningful to my son. As soon as we finish "A Child's Garden of Torah", we will read the section on Judaism.
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Format: Hardcover
A wonderful book to have if you want to learn about the different religions. Great to give to children to help them understand the differences. Would recommend to everyone.
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