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Evolution, Me & Other Freaks of Nature by…
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Evolution, Me & Other Freaks of Nature

by Robin Brande

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Evolution, Me & Other Freaks of Nature
by Robin Brande
(My version was an audio book.)

YA novel centering around 14yo Mena, a freshman girl who has recently gotten kicked out of her church and is now being frozen out by her parents. We slowly learn what happened to get her in trouble; the story is told in snippets as her day-to-day life plays out before us.

She is a "good" Christian girl from a very conservative family. She has always hung out with the Christian kids and never caused any problems. That is until the day comes where she writes a letter of apology to a boy detailing the whys of how he came to be bullied by a group of her friends. That letter finds its way into the hands of the boy's lawyer, who then proceeds to sue a number of people in the community and her church...which is why she is now in the hot seat.

Because she is now being ostracized by her "friends", she starts up a friendship with her science lab partner, Casey. They work on various science projects together, so she is able to spend time at his house with his family, including his older sister, Kayla. Kayla is intrigued by some drama going on with the high school science teacher and the Christian community's battle over teaching the theory of evolution without also teaching about intelligent design. Mena has to choose how involved she wants to get--and possibly getting into deeper trouble with her parents-- when she is asked to serve (anonymously) as "Bible Grrrl" for Mena's website, offering a new approach to looking at that particular controversy.

There is also a sweet romance between Mena and Casey, but the debate between Creationism and Darwinism is the real focus of the novel, and ends up selling the thought of "Why not both?"

After the novel (in my audio book version), there was also a conversation between the author and Prof. Miller from Brown University, the author of "Finding Darwin's God". Very interesting facts shared in the book and follow-up conversation and worth the read(listen). ( )
  AddictedToMorphemes | Dec 3, 2015 |
I enjoyed this book a lot, it is probably a little high in age range for me to use though. I might let a fifth grader read this book at the youngest. The story deals with all the normal high school issues, love, friendship, acceptance, and some not so normal ones. The main character is cast out of he group of friends when she revels the pastor of her church has been encouraging the youth class kids to try to "convert" one of their fellow classmates into being straight. They bully him so bad he attempts suicide and she must reveal the truth. ( )
  Jordanlaine | Apr 17, 2014 |
so many issues so well told ( )
  lindap69 | Apr 5, 2013 |
(a) not everything needs to have a romance in it. Why couldn't they be friends and have that be the end of it? Mena would still have enough Issues with her parents for socializing with a Boy without being all gaga over him.

(b) This was written in 2007. There's a bit talking about how great someone is at web design because he used a bunch of blinking images. AAAAAHHHH 1995 called and they want their websites back.

It's an interesting premise but it didn't light my world on fire--the Bible-thumpers are cartoonishly one-dimensional and Team Science is all scornful of organized religion (up until the Big Reveal that wasn't all that shocking, anyway). Obviously I finished the book anyway (it reads quickly) but it didn't really light my world on fire; a year from now I'll probably have forgotten I read this. ( )
  librarybrandy | Mar 30, 2013 |
I enjoyed most of the book - probably about 4/5 of it. But the ending? It is not the right one. When members of Mena's church treat a young man in a horrible manner because he may be gay thereby causing him to attempt suicide, Mena actually feels enough compassion to send him a letter of apology. She realizes it is a little too little, a little too late, but she is only 13 and it is the best she can do. As a result of the letter that she wrote, members of her church are sued and her parents business may be affected. She is severely punished by her parents. All her actions are restricted, she is ostracized by her old church friends, and her parents don't even talk to her. {Seriously? What kind of parents don't talk to their daughter, especially a daughter just entering high school. High school is a time with daughters REALLY need their parents!} So anyway, she has the best science teacher and the best lab partner ever and she learns some stuff about the evolution and herself. Her old church friends give the school and her teacher a hard time about teaching evolution without giving intelligent design equal time. Her teacher, who is a famous science blogger, sticks her ground and will only teach the science. Wouldn't you think at the end of the book, some of the church friends would start "seeing the light" and that reason would prevail and her parent would see what kind of idiots they are? Nope, that does not happen. Her parent never tell Mena they are proud of her for trying to do the right thing. They never tell her they are sorry for not talking to her. Her old church friends only get worse. And the book ends with the author trying to explain who knows what? I'm not really sure what she was getting at. I loved the Connors though - they rocked - Kasey, Kayla, and their mom. {And their dad and puppies too.} ( )
  spincerely | Apr 10, 2012 |
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Epigraph
Nothing is easier than to admit in words the truth of the universal struggle for life
-- Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species
Dedication
For Amanda and Matthew
First words
I knew today would be ugly.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0375843493, Hardcover)

Your best friend hates you. The guy you liked hates you. Your entire group of friends hates you.

All because you did the right thing.

Welcome to life for Mena, whose year is starting off in the worst way possible. She's been kicked out of her church group and no one will talk to her—not even her own parents. No one except for Casey, her supersmart lab partner in science class, who's pretty funny for the most brilliant guy on earth.

And when Ms. Shepherd begins the unit on evolution, school becomes more dramatic than Mena could ever imagine . . . and her own life is about to evolve in some amazing and unexpected ways.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:23:26 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Following her conscience leads high school freshman Mena to clash with her parents and former friends from their conservative Christian church, but might result in better things when she stands up for a teacher who refuses to include "Intelligent Design" in lessons on evolution.… (more)

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