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Evolution, Me & Other Freaks of Nature

by Robin Brande

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5924433,989 (3.82)22
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.
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» See also 22 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 43 (next | show all)
Mena Reece is just starting her freshman year in high school, she has been cast out of her church, her church friends are alternately bullying her and ignoring her, and her parents are not speaking to her. The reason for all of this is not made clear until almost half way through the book. Her science teacher places her with cute science geek, Casey Connor, as her lab partner. Through her science teacher, Ms. Shepherd, and Casey and his family, Mena sees another way of life different from the strict Christian one in which she was raised. They both spark her interest in science, first with an important long-term science project that includes working with Casey’s adorable puppies, and then when the unit on evolution begins. The pastor of her church uses the Christian students in Mena’s class to launch a challenge against the evolution unit. When Ms. Shepherd begins to discuss Evolution, the Christian students turn their chairs around and ignore the lesson. The un-Christian-like behavior of Mena’s former friends seems to be a caricature of what liberals think of how conservative Christians act. [UNFINISHED] ( )
  Dairyqueen84 | Mar 15, 2022 |
I really enjoyed this YA read about a high-school freshman trying to reconcile her family's fundamentalist beliefs with her new friends' reverence for science (and sci-fi). ( )
  stephkaye | Dec 14, 2020 |
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 |
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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
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I knew today would be ugly.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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.

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