Thematic reading lists: Religious Freedom


The first amendment grants United States citizens the freedom of speech and religion. While this can be difficult to find in practice at times, the more people learn about the myriad belief systems in the world, the more easily they can coexist. This book list includes non-fiction titles for elementary school students that represent many of the religions represented in the United States.
Contributed by: Mary Lanni

9780756542368 Buddhism
By: Don Nardo

Buddhism began in India 2,500 years ago and later spread throughout the world. Buddhists do not recognize an all-powerful god, but instead follow the teachings of the Buddha, a man, to find peace and contentment. Today courageous Buddhist monks are respected around the globe as moral leaders. Learn more about the rich history and traditions of Buddhism and how the religion fits into today’s world in Buddhism, part of the World Religions series.
0778733106 Celebrating Different Beliefs
By: Steffi Cavell-Clarke

Values are the things we feel are important, such as the freedom to express our beliefs or religion. No matter which religion people do or don’t practice, our values teach us to respect each other’s right to practice their religion. Young readers will learn that sharing values like this one helps us live and work together in a community.
9781554537501 Faith: Five Religions and What They Share
By: Dr. Richard Steckel and Michele Steckel

An introduction to Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, and Judaism traces the historical origins, beliefs, and traditions of each while simultaneously exploring the values, customs, and symbols shared by all five faiths.
1515771644 The First Amendment: freedom of speech and religion
By: John Micklos, Jr.

The Bill of Rights was written more than 200 years ago, but it’s still just as relevant and important today as it was back then. Readers will take a look at what caused the First Amendment to be born and what effects the amendment has had through history and today.
9781937529925 Freedom to Worship
By: Bryon Cahill

Explores freedom of worship, as guaranteed in the Bill of Rights, along with its history and importance to the formation of the United States of America.
9780756542382 Hinduism
By: Natalie M. Rosinsky

“Good luck and blessings in the new year!” This is how Hindus greet one another during Diwali, the Hindu New Year. Learn about Hinduism, the world’s oldest organized religion. Hindus acknowledge one god who has many names and is imagined in many forms. Discover the rich history and traditions of Hinduism and how this religion fits into today’s world.
9780756542399 Islam
By: Lucia Raatma

The religion of Islam traces its beginnings to the 600s in what is present day Saudi Arabia. The angel Gabriel was said to have visited the prophet Muhammad, who then shared the word of Allah, or God, with the people. Today Islam has more than a billion followers. Learn more about the rich history and traditions of Islam and how the religion fits into today’s world in Islam, part of the World Religions series.
0745949835 The Lion Encyclopedia of World Religions
By: David Self

Provides information about the beliefs, texts, stories, prayers, and important people of the world’s major religions, including Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, and new age movements.
9781467749053 My Religion, Your Religion
By: Lisa Bullard
Illustrated by: Holli Conger

Lots of people practice a religion. What is similar about people’s religious beliefs? How are people’s religions different? A curious kid explores these questions within his/her family and among neighbors and friends.
1590841220 Native American Religions
By: Rob Staeger

While Native American religious beliefs vary from tribe to tribe, the one thing they have in common is a belief in a higher power. This power has many names: Manitou, Wakanda, Sila, or even just the Great Spirit. This book discusses the various beliefs held by tribes in each region of the Americas. It also describes some of the important rituals practiced in each religion.
9781627128889_p0_v1_s600x595 Religion in Colonial America
By: George Capaccio

Religion was a driving force in the founding of the United States. Learn how it affected each of the states and the development of the country.
9781770492547 Winterberries and Apple Blossoms: Reflections and Flavors of a Mennonite Year
By: Nan Forler
Illustrated by: Peter Etril Snyder

With an evocative poem for every month of the year, young Naomi introduces us to her family and hosts a journey through the seasonal rhythms of her rural Mennonite community.


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