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Thu Feb 28, 2013, 02:26 PM

Recommend good books on non-theism for teens, please

I've raised all of my three daughters in a non-theistic household. My oldest just rolls her eyes at discussion of religion. My middle child is 13 and is so much fun to talk with. However, as we have all experienced, the middle school years bring peer pressure. Her best friend is a devout Methodist and is incredulous that my daughter doesn't believe in a deity. To her credit, my daughter is very good at asking questions and making her friends think about their statements.

She is going on a Methodist "Discovery" weekend trip with her friend this weekend. I'm ok with it and told her to please go and come back and we can discuss the events. I want to give her a good, age appropriate book dealing with non-theism. Any suggestions out there would be helpful as I look around this weekend at the bookstore.

On edit: I was just thinking that a book that deconstructs Christianity might be of interest as well.

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Reply Recommend good books on non-theism for teens, please (Original post)
Stuckinthebush Feb 2013 OP
trotsky Feb 2013 #1
Stuckinthebush Feb 2013 #2
cleanhippie Feb 2013 #3
Curmudgeoness Feb 2013 #4
Stuckinthebush Feb 2013 #5
Curmudgeoness Feb 2013 #6
Zoeisright Mar 2013 #7
Stuckinthebush Mar 2013 #8

Response to Stuckinthebush (Original post)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 02:49 PM

1. FFRF has put together some great books.

Seeing that your teen is a girl, "Woe to the Women" and "Women Without Superstition" might be interesting for her, driving home the misogyny so often found in religion.

https://ffrf.org/shop/books/ffrf-books

There are also two very good books from Michael Shermer, who despite his libertarian leanings is a really smart guy.

http://www.amazon.com/People-Believe-Weird-Things-Pseudoscience/dp/0805070893

http://www.amazon.com/Believing-Brain-Conspiracies---How-Construct-Reinforce/dp/1250008808

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Response to trotsky (Reply #1)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 02:51 PM

2. Thank you, Trotsky

Excellent resources!

The Woe to the Women book looks fascinating.

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Response to Stuckinthebush (Original post)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 04:34 PM

3. The Magic Of Reality by Dawkins, Candle in the Dark and Pale Blue Dot by Carl Sagan

The Believing Brain by Michael Shermer

Those should get em started.

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Response to Stuckinthebush (Original post)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 06:37 PM

4. A suggestion, but not on a book.

This comes from personal experience, so I know the consequences. Make sure that your daughter does not push non-belief too hard on her best friend or others at this trip. I lost my best friend in my teen years over religion arguments. Best to just let things flow over her, and take it with a grain of salt. It can be a learning experience for her to see how people relate to their religion....I think that we all know quite a bit about religion without being sucked into it.

I just don't want to have her follow my footsteps by alienating a great friend.

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Response to Curmudgeoness (Reply #4)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 08:24 PM

5. Excellent suggestion

She does seem to be very good at listening and not pushing. I think she really is interested in learning more about Christianity and understanding her friends' positions. I just know that without a reinforcement of rationality here and there, the feel-good Christian shtick can suck em in at this age. I don't think she will be sucked in but I want to give her some stuff to read from the other side.

I really do think it is important to give them the ability to make their decisions about attending Christian functions. I want her to hear their perspective. But then I want her to hear mine as well. Since I don't have a church and happy-clappy music and friends and sleepovers, I don't appeal to the 13 year old brain.

But, she is very, very sharp. I know that she will take it all in stride, reflect and come up with her own opinions. That's what I want for here anyway.

Now, if she votes Republican ever then she is disowned.

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Response to Stuckinthebush (Reply #5)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 08:51 PM

6. Agh! That is a scary thought!

Voting Republican!!!! I agree that religion can suck kids in easily----I will not admit to what I went through in my early teens, but let's just say that the fight with my best friend was not atheist/believer, it was My beliefs from Presbyterian/Catholic. I was one of THOSE people. Well, at least until I started to think. So, even if she would be sucked in, it probably would be a phase and she would work her way out of it.

Interestingly, if I would have had kids, I always figured that I would want them to know about religion. I think that is the best way to make sure that they don't fall into that "true believer" trap.

I hope you find a good book or two for her.

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Response to Stuckinthebush (Original post)

Mon Mar 18, 2013, 09:46 AM

7. The Magic of Reality

by Richard Dawkins. Explains science and how foolish religion is very, very well and in plain English.

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Response to Zoeisright (Reply #7)

Mon Mar 18, 2013, 11:24 AM

8. I forgot about that one

I actually have that. Thanks!

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