One of the perks in having a blog is that sometimes people send me books. I love books so this works out pretty well for me. This week we got a new book which the kids love and even my husband and I love. It is a Catholic Answers apologetics graphic novel (read: comic book) for teens. It is very Catholic, so my not-Catholic readers won't be too interested but if you are Catholic, run, run now to their site (HERE) and get it. Here is why...
But the video probably won't convince you because it is geared towards the parents of teens while the book is geared towards the teens themselves. It really is worthwhile. There are even criticisms of the video on YouTube of people who think that efforts to each teens are wasted. This is because they tend to degenerate into either preachy and annoying caricatures or they fail to address the real need for honest teaching. It can be done well and not be patronizing. Teens want to be cool and smart, and they are often drawn to philosophy, particularly that of the East because it is not presented as childish even if the teens are still somewhat childish themselves. The monk who wrote this knows that and a few more things.
Philosophy is cool. You know what else is cool? Tintin is cool. The illustrations in the book look a lot like Tintin and it is the amazing marriage of Tintin comics and philosophy complete with even a discussion about chairs. Anyone who has ever taken a philosophy class knows that chairs show up in class discussion. All. The. Time. Plus, it was written by a Maronite Rite Catholic monk and a portion of the proceeds goes to support the Maronite Monks of Adoration (see their site HERE).
The main characters are named Brendan and Erc and they are interplanetary mail men who interact with other characters on a search for truth and who are wrongly accused of drug smuggling. I know, really, it sounds like it is sketchy but it isn't. There are plenty of Christian stories of disciples in prison. It turns out okay, I promise. I just want you to know so that no one is mad at me later. But the plot line is incidental to the arc of spiritual discovery. They begin with an understanding of the immortal soul, its significance, man's search for happiness, the person of Jesus Christ, and the Universal Church. They do not shy away from tough questions like the problem of evil and the typical resistance to Christianity. It is profoundly deep but well crafted and presented in such a way that it is approachable by children as young ten but the philosophical concepts are deep enough that I think that really only teens will understand the complete argument.
I plan on sending this book to some teenaged godchildren who really need something like this. I will make sure to pack in some Death to the World Tshirts (see them HERE) since I am getting them for my own teens. I really think that every Catholic teen needs to read this book. It is food for the journey, and adolescence is a difficult one.