Publication Day: If you’re just reading my newsletter for the first time, Faith Ed publishes on August 18, and my first reading will be on the same day – Aug. 18 at 7 p.m. at Porter Square Books in Cambridge.
Faith Ed Heads to Georgia: I’m pleased to announce that the Decatur Books Fest has invited me to give a reading/talk at this year’s festival. It will be held Sept. 4-6 in Decatur. Stay tuned for more details in the months to come. I have friends, family, and author friends in the Atlanta area, so I’m very excited to travel there.
Blurbs: Many thanks to the authors who read my book and sent in blurbs. What is a blurb? A mini-review used on the book cover. Here’s a look:
“In Faith Ed, an impassioned journalist takes her readers on a tour of timely topic: what it is like to teach the world ‘s religions in a climate of hostility and ignorance. The result is a heartfelt plea for open-mindedness and civility, in the classroom and beyond.” – Madeleine Blais, author of In These Girls, Hope is a Muscle and the memoir, Uphill Walkers.
“Faith Ed offers deep insights into the combustible issue of teaching religion in American schools. Linda K. Wertheimer combines her personal experience with vivid reporting to reveal the fault lines as well as a pathway to progress. At a time when religion and intolerance are at the heart of conflicts both global and local, this powerful book is required reading.” —Mitchell Zuckoff, author of 13 Hours and Lost in Shangri-La
“Linda Wertheimer has given us a deeply reported, sobering look at the promise and taboos of teaching religion in our public schools. With a sharp eye and open mind, she brings to light the heroes of tolerance, the isolationists who choose safe harbors of ignorance, and the ongoing struggle over what it means to be an American. —Scott Helman, coauthor of Long Mile Home.
“Insightful and engaging, Faith Ed shows how education fights intolerance. This is an important book, with huge implications for public policy and stronger communities.” —Jonathan Eig, author of The Birth of the Pill and Luckiest Man
Slide Show: I took hundreds of photos on travels around the country as I reported on schools’ efforts to teach about the world’s religions. Here is a look at a few and the story behind them:
This photo is of the window sill in Sherry McIntyre’s classroom at a Modesto, Calif., high school. Sherry teaches a world religions class required for all high school freshmen and has tried to show the diversity of religion in many ways. These symbols play a huge role in one chapter in Faith Ed because just the sight of them scared an ultra-religious student her first day in class.
Katie Wadler and Hepah Hussein tour Disney Epcot’s Morocco on a field trip for Steinbrenner High School in Tampa. Katie is Jewish. Hepah is Muslim. Both are in the minority religions in their school. They became friends in their world history class, taught by a teacher who had been the target of controversy in recent years for bringing in a Muslim guest speaker to give a presentation on Islam. Katie and Hepah are a story all of their own, a story of two teenagers who bonded strongly despite their different faiths. At Epcot, Hepah took on the role of teacher when she saw familiar spices in the Morocco store. Like other teens at Steinbrenner, Katie and Hepah couldn’t understand the uproar over a Muslim guest speaker. They both thought it was only right that their school tried to teach them about the world and religions around them.
Tips on Religion Writing: Check out the June issue of The Writer magazine for my article on tips on religion writing.
Have a great week! I’m updating my website to reflect events and news about Faith Ed. Keep in touch. Let me know if you’re coming in August or if you happen to be near Georgia. You can always email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ah, and I would be negligent if I didn’t remind you that Faith Ed is available for pre-order on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and anywhere books are sold.
Thanks for reading!