Diverse Kids Books–Reviews

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Many Ways: How Families Practice Their Beliefs and Religions by Shelley Rotner and Sheila M. Kelly

cover for Many Ways--How Families Practice ReligionMany Ways: How Families Practice Their Beliefs and Religions by Shelley Rotner and Sheila M. Kelly, published in 2006, is a book that attempts to raise awareness of spiritual diversity within families and faith traditions. The book views different religious traditions through a universal lens, exploring faiths like Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, and Sikhism. Rotner and Kelley accomplish this by beginning the book showing children participating in everyday activities like going to school, working, and playing, then shifting into separate traditions that show how these faith-based practices are connected through the global ideas of stories, music, and symbols.

Instead of using the traditional mode of illustrations to show examples of diverse religious and cultural families, Many Ways depicts these ideas through photography. This can be viewed positively, as it demonstrates to readers that a wide variety of religious practices are being celebrated and enjoyed by real children around the world. Children of many religions can read this book and see their own spiritual practices while learning that other children with religions different than their own share fundamental similarities. (more…)