Mena can’t believe it. In one fell swoop, she’s lost all her friends, been banned for life from her church youth group, and forever grounded by her parents. Why? Because she dared to do the RIGHT THING (more on that later). Only two things are getting her through her miserable days at school: her new hot lab partner, Casey (he of the swoon-y eyes and curly dark hair) and her radical science teacher, Ms. Shepard (she of the rumpled suits and venti Starbucks). Ms. Shepard’s interesting lectures on evolution and Darwin have really got Mena’s brain cells blazing. There’s just one problem—her former church friends. Every time Ms. Shepard mentions the “e” word, they all turn their chairs in protest. Mena is miserable. Just because she believes in God, does that mean she can’t believe in evolution? And if her old friends are such good Christians, why can’t they forgive her for doing the RIGHT THING (sorry, you’re just going to have to read the book to find out what that was—but it involves Mena helping an LGBT kid who refuses to bow to Christian peer pressure to “reform”) In EM & OFN, Robin Brande explores what it means to have faith—in God, in nature, in friendship, but most of all, in yourself. This is one articulate, well-written debut. Bravo to Brande for writing such a balanced, timely tome that humorously and sensitively addresses the current debate between intelligent design and evolution. 4 stars!
Evolution, Me & Other Freaks of Nature by Robin Brande