Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy from of this book in exchange for an honest review.
What If I'm an Atheist? is a guide for teens and children who are trying to work out for themselves what they believe and how they want to live their lives. It starts out with helpful definitions of terms like atheist, agnostic and freethinker. It goes on to talk about the pros and cons of being an unbeliever and what the transition from churchgoer to atheist, or vice versa might be like in both emotional and practical terms. The book includes numerous quotes from teenagers and adults about their personal journeys both into and out of organised religion.
I didn't realise how lucky I was growing up in Australia and moving in circles where not being religious never seemed to be that big a deal. I knew both religious and non religious people and never felt like I faced any kind of discrimination for my faith or lack thereof. My heart goes out to kids who have to deal with being ostracised by their peers or punished by their parents because of their beliefs.
This book provides useful resources for teens who are not as lucky as me, such as a list of organisations to join, useful books and websites.
There is also a guide to talking “coming out” as an atheist to your friends and family, with many helpful tips on how to keep discussion calm and reasonable. The book also includes a few standard arguments against atheism and counter arguments you could use.
There are also quotes which even if they aren't much use in persuading anyone might at least give the reader a giggle. My favourite was by Penn Jillette of Penn and Teller fame: “It is fair to say that the Bible contains equal amounts of fact, history and pizza.”
What If I'm an Atheist could be an invaluable guide to a teenager going through a difficult and confusing time in their lives. It is balanced, non judgemental and offers a good jumping off point for further research. It would be a good gift for a non believing teenager and a valuable asset to any school or public library.