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Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Ex-library copy. Has typical library stamps and markings. No writing or marking in text of book. Has clear protective cover over dust jacket.
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What Do You Believe? (Big Questions) Hardcover – March 21, 2011

4.4 out of 5 stars 58 customer reviews

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Frequently Bought Together

  • What Do You Believe? (Big Questions)
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"The graphically bold format — which mixes photographs, cartoons, and sidebars — will keep kids' attention, whether they are seeking truth, knowledge, or more to ponder." – Publishers Weekly

"As an introduction to myriad ways people around the world choose to live and think, it's worthy reading material for any age." – Tribune Newspapers

"This slim book goes beyond the standard comparative religion format to address questions of philosophy and belief that readers, both those with and without religious identification, will find thought-provoking." – School Library Journal

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 7 - 17 years
  • Grade Level: 2 - 12
  • Series: Big Questions
  • Hardcover: 96 pages
  • Publisher: DK Children (March 21, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0756672287
  • ISBN-13: 978-0756672287
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 0.5 x 11.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #138,588 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I got this book when my 6 year old daughter came home from school talking about Jesus and God. I'd never talked to her about religion (I'm Atheist) and wanted to be able to talk to her about religion without letting my own (admittedly negative) views of it color the discussion. I read it all the way through before sharing it with her and wasn't 100% sure if she'd be old/mature enough for it, but felt comfortable to present it to her. We didn't read the book straight through, she just flipped through it and asked what certain pictures were about and what some of the paragraphs said. We mostly read about Christianity (what her other mom and grandma believe) and Islam (what her best friend believes) to keep the focus narrow enough. I also pointed out some interesting parts of the other religions. I don't know if she'll want to read it again any time soon, but I know eventually she'll pull it out and ask questions.

I like the way differences and similarities between the religions are shown with charts and pictures and even a couple comics. There's a section on "Hair do's and don'ts" and "Why do you wear that?". I thought these were good to have since the first way many kids encounter another religion is through distinctive hairstyles or clothes.

I highly recommend this book, especially for kids who have suddenly "discovered" religion or who have general questions.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As an atheist that believes religious literacy is crucial, I wanted a book for our younger children that would give them a broad perspective of how different people worship (or don't) and the different roles faith play in this world. This book delivered that and way more. It was concise yet thorough, well laid out, and very readable and included not only religion but philosophy, spirituality, historical perspective, even a mention of science and evolution. Excellent book.
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If you are a secular parent looking for a kid's book that provides an overview of the most common religions, this one is only 'partially' ok: selected parts and pictures can be used to show basic aspects of certain religious practices; however, it is very biased, as explained.

- The book almost exclusively presents positive aspects, practices and consequences of belief systems. The history of issues and dangers of religions are not included: the negative is only superficially mentioned and sugar coated in this book, from subtle justifications of detrimental religious practices to a brief "..why is everyone fighting". If you want a child to develop a balanced and factual understanding about religion, omitting important historical facts and failing to expose the negative side is surely not the way to do it.

- The book asserts god exists. There is a chapter (What is god?) dedicated to the 'fact' that "...God is unlimited - far greater than anything humans can truly understand or describe". The contents also often presents the assumptions from each religion as 'truths', and not as what they are, assumptions.

- It presents atheism and agnosticism as 'belief systems'. Requiring evidence to justify extraordinary claims is not a 'belief system', much less a religion.
In fact, most religious individuals are atheists when it comes down to someone else's religions - except their own. This is a poor way to teach kids about intellectual honesty and critical thinking.

In summary, although this book is an illustrated overview of various religions, it presents a biased and false rosy picture of the subject for kids and adults.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I think this does a good job of outlining the major religions and giving an overview of social and historical context. Based upon the description, I expected more content on different philosophers, but there was very little - just single quotes scattered throughout. I also have issues with the way certain opinions are presented as facts. Most of the book clearly states that the different beliefs are just that... BELIEFS of certain people. But some sections, such as the "What IS God" page, have lines like " God is unlimited - far greater than anything humans can truly understand or describe." Lines like this obviously indicate the author's assumption that there is, in fact, a God. This goes against several of the beliefs discussed in the book - such as Atheism, Agnosticism and even Buddhism. It's subtle, but it's definitely enough to influence young readers. I do still find it valuable, and I haven't found a better compilation of info for this age group, but there's room for improvement.
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This is a terrific book for those that would like an overview of all the major religions that doesn't have an agenda or an overt bias. Very nicely presented, lots of pictures, and a great job of describing the key elements that make each religious viewpoint unique. Not for younger kids, but a very nice introduction to comparative religion for older kids and adults. Many people could benefit from this basic understanding of the differences and the commonalities of the world's great religions. Very highly recommended.
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I loved this book. My son is 7 and was starting to have lots of questions about god and religion. I thought this was the perfect introduction into world religions and belief systems. We sat down and read the first few pages together so that he would understand how to read it and what to expect.
Warning: when we first gave it to him, he would just open to a random page, read a box and assume that it was fact (since it is in a book). So, I highly reccommend reading it together at first.
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