Understanding Judaism

9781682824672. Nardo, Don. Understanding Islam. ISBN 9781682824658.ea vol: 80p. (Understanding World Religions). diag. further reading. glossary. index. photos. websites. ReferencePoint. Aug. 2018. lib. ed. $29.95.
Gr 8 Up—A well-written and thought-provoking series. Each volume opens with graphs displaying percentages of populations practicing various religions—and the religions' projected growth. Following an introduction, each title includes chapters covering origins, what the faithful believe, how adherents practice the faith, rules followed, and challenges the religion faces. (Hinduism lacks "Rules to Live By"; Buddhism adds a chapter on fine arts.) The series reflects on the religions' similarities and notes that each faith will survive and grow. Controversies are handled honestly, but positives are stressed. Each title cites a few recent world events; for instance, in Judaism, the 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, VA, and, in Islam, the women's rights reforms adopted in Saudi Arabia in 2018. The writing is dense, though images and sidebars help to break up the text. However, Judaism is less detailed than the other volumes.
VERDICT Aimed at mature students, adherents, and report writers.

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