By Matthew S. Gordon
Part of the “World Religions” series, “Islam” presents the second largest religion for those familiar with it and those just learning.
The book opens with a world map that highlights the areas of the world in which Muslims live and goes on to give a brief overview of Islam. The book addresses the common misconceptions of Islam, such as all Muslims are Arabs and that Islam teaches its followers to be violent. In fact, the majority of Muslims are not Arab and do not speak Arabic, and Islam teaches Muslims to be peaceful. Only Islamic extremists tend to be violent and hateful toward Westerners.
“Islam” looks at the history of Islam from before its foundation to the stories of Muhammad’s revelations from God and on to its presence in the 21st century. Gordon is careful to point out that Islam holds many prominent Christian and Jewish figures like Moses, Abraham, and Jesus “in high esteem.” He also points out that like Christianity and Judaism, Islam teaches that there is only one God, Allah. “Allah,” according to Gordon, is the Arabic word for God and refers to the world’s creator.
Muhammad’s revelations came when he was about 40 from the angel Gabriel. At first, Muhammad questioned these revelations and, subsequently, his sanity. Gabriel was persistent, though, and soon Muhammad came to realize that he was chosen by Allah to be His messenger. Muhammad’s teachings were well-received by some, but others, particularly the wealthy and powerful merchants in Mecca (one of Islam’s holy cities), did not think his teachings were good for business since his teachings challenged the polytheistic belief system on which their wealth relied.
The negative reception by the powerful leaders in Mecca made it necessary for Muhammad and his followers to leave Mecca and find a more friendly home. Gordon goes on to report on Muhammad’s and his followers’ travels and their struggle to find acceptance and recruit new members until they were finally able to settle once again in Mecca.
Gordon also chronicles the expansion of Islam around the world as well as Islam’s holidays, traditions and its presence in the modern world, including a brief discussion of the war in Iraq. Overall, he has written an interesting overview of Islam that will be useful to those writing reports on the religion and those who are simply interested in learning about this often misunderstood faith.
This book is located in the teen nonfiction collection.
Those interested in learning more about Islam should visit the library during the month of December to view the Islamic Society’s display.
‘Get Hooked: Simple Steps to Crochet Cool Stuff’
By Kim Werker
This colorful instructional book presents crochet to teens in an easily understood manner and looks at everything from the crochet hook and its parts to the different kinds of yarn one can use for crochet.
The instructions, while not as good as personal instruction, are clear and offer many pictures to show new crocheters what the stitches look like while they’re being formed on the hook. Werker covers all of the basic stitches, from the beginning chain stitch to the double and treble crochet. She carefully explains how to turn your project and begin a new row, which is often tricky for beginners. She also explains how to join a new piece of yarn to your project and how to finish and weave in the ends.
Once readers know how to crochet, the real fun begins. The patterns included in “Get Hooked” are colorful, easy and fun. Werker avoids using too many abbreviations that can confuse and frustrate beginners and instead concentrates on providing clear instructions that are easily followed. Crocheters can make all sorts of things from scarves and a funky baglet to punk gloves and even a miniskirt.
These patterns are good for crocheters at all levels and will surely inspire adventuresome crocheters to explore their own twists on Werker’s patterns.
“Get Hooked” is located in the teen nonfiction collection.
Teens interested in learning more about crochet or knitting should attend the library’s weekly “In Stitches” program beginning again in January. Check the library’s Web site, www.joplinpubliclibrary.org, or the teen department for flyers in mid-December.
Cari Boatright is the teen librarian at Joplin Public Library.
- Globe Life
Moving musical: Students involved with high school's last play proud to present it at MSSU
Mollie Sanders fell in love with "The Drowsy Chaperone" when she was in middle school.
The musical's wit and heart quickly snared Sanders' attention.
Ryan Richardson: Pets can pose problems for computers
When I started college back in the 1999, I was a computer science major. I had a promising job at a local cable service, working tech support and system-side support for our servers. I've always been the go-to guy when a computer breaks down with my friends and family.
Frankie Meyer: Day trips give fresh perspective on old history
Family genealogies are most appreciated by loved ones who are interested in local and national history, too. When a person can imagine ancestors living during specific eras of history, the people come alive.
Lisa Brown: 'Blackfish' reveals darker side of marine attractions
It is a film that breaks hearts and angers people. It also changes the way people think -- something a good documentary should be able to do.
Jeana Gockley: Characters stand out in Sloan's 'Counting by 7s'
Several years ago, I had the honor of hearing Nancy Pearl speak at a library conference. She is a celebrity in the world of libraries.
Frankie Meyer: Experts imagine what future libraries will look like
What will libraries of the future be like? That is a question facing libraries around the nation.
Ryan Richardson: Abandoning, surrendering pets not the same
I want to address a phone call I received this week. I got a voice mail from a frustrated lady, who asked me why I had such a hard stance in last week's column on pets that had been abandoned.
Business angle: Asbury man uses retirement to open a successful bait shop
As a kid, Floyd Reeves walked from his home on 32nd street in Joplin to Shoal Creek to fish from the low water bridge using worms and crawdads he'd dug up along the way.
Who should we follow on Twitter? #140fourstates project will profile region's best tweeters
Sharing lives has never been easier, thanks to social networking. And Twitter is responsible for one of the era's biggest transformations. At symbols (@) and hashtags (#) are a big part of the way we communicate, and the service's 140-character limit has given us new emphasis on brevity and being succinct.
Frankie Meyer: Maps can be obtained through interlibrary loans
Several fire maps of towns were compiled and published by the Sanborn Fire Insurance Co. of New York starting in the late 1800s. The Kansas State Historical Society's website at www.kshs.org lists the Kansas towns that were mapped.
- More Globe Life Headlines
- Moving musical: Students involved with high school's last play proud to present it at MSSU