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Maybe No

By Dan Barker.

Illustrated By Brian Strassburg.

Maybe Yes, Maybe No: A Guide for Young Skeptics is a child’s introduction to healthy skepticism. The book’s ten-year-old heroine, Andrea, is “always asking questions,” Barker writes, because she thinks “you should be able to prove the truth of a strange story before you believe it.” The book begins with a ghost story. When Andrea’s friends claim that spirits are moving the kitchen dishes, she wants to check it out for herself. The adventure that follows illustrates that the best way to meet life’s big and a little mysteries is with curiosity and open-mindedness.

This book teaches the essentials of critical thinking – “Check it out,” “Repeat the experiment,” “Try to prove it wrong,” “It has to make sense,” – illustrating each of these rules with clear examples. Maybe Yes, Maybe No assures young readers that they are fully capable of figuring out what to believe and knowing when there just isn’t enough information to decide. “You can do it your own way,” Barker writes. “if you are a good skeptic you will know how to think for yourself.”

Paperback, 80 pages.

Freedom From Religion Foundation