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Evolution, Me & Other Freaks of Nature

by Robin Brande

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5804331,438 (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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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 |
(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 |
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Nothing is easier than to admit in words the truth of the universal struggle for life
-- Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species
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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