Last year, I began outlining a book that talked about the unique struggles of high school atheists. We hear so much about college groups and what they deal with, but only rarely do we hear about high school atheists and the obstacles they face: Coming out to your parents, dealing with religious administrators, overcoming the fear of isolation, trying to start an atheist group at school, taking those courage first steps away from your parents’ faith…
I wrote the bulk of the book over the summer, after talking to dozens of students, faculty members, and atheists who work to support them.
I’m excited to announce that the finished product, The Young Atheist’s Survival Guide, is finally available for purchase
This book isn’t just for high school atheists. It’s also for everyone who wants to help them — and for those who just want to know what kind of difficulties those students face.
Currently, the book is only available for Kindle. The dead tree edition will be out in a week and the audiobook version should be out before the end of the year. (Your relatives told me this is what they want for Christmas so you should make them happy.)
As for the price, it’s $2.99… but only for a limited time. The price will go up shortly, so buy it now!
In case you need some encouragement to buy it, here’s what some familiar voices are saying about it:
“A paean to young atheist heroes, sung and unsung, combined with a common sense guide to organizing in your local area, The Young Atheist’s Survival Guide is the perfect handbook for an atheist teenager looking for direction, resilience, and pride.” — Zach Weinersmith, creator of Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal
“The Young Atheist’s Survival Guide will inform and inspire the secular and the religious alike. As young people today are increasingly identifying openly as nonbelievers and challenging longstanding societal assumptions about religion and secularity, Hemant Mehta provides valuable insight into this important phenomenon.” — David Niose, author of Nonbeliever Nation: The Rise of Secular Americans
“Is bigotry toward atheists the last socially acceptable form of religious prejudice? In his stimulating exploration of youth and atheism, Mehta documents numerous instances of hostility and institutional bias high school-aged students have encountered when they embraced conscience over conformity. The conclusion is clear: When freethinkers seek to express their beliefs or exercise their “rights” in the same way as members of religious majorities, they are often stymied, if not by law, then by prejudice and social convention. Mehta offers a persuasive call to action, and his book should be of interest to all those who want to keep the public sphere open to all forms of belief and nonbelief.” — Katherine Stewart, author of The Good News Club: The Christian Right’s Stealth Assault on America’s Children
“All across the country, atheist high school students are bullied, persecuted and denied their legal rights, even by school administrators who should know better. But as atheism becomes a more influential and mainstream voice in our society, freethinking high schoolers are increasingly coming out of the closet and standing up for themselves, forming communities to support each other and advance the secular point of view. Hemant’s book shows how it can be done with many inspiring examples of brave student activists.” — Adam Lee, author of Daylight Atheism
“In this book, Hemant provides a reality check about bigotry and harassment against atheists in schools, as well as a road map to alleviating these issues. America is evolving before our eyes, and our secular future will most certainly be delivered by today’s young people. This book will help students understand what they face, and show adults where the students need help (they can’t do it alone). In other words, Hemant’s book is important. Read it.” — Dave Silverman, President of American Atheists
If you like the book, please (pretty please?) leave a positive review on Amazon. I would really appreciate it.
Writing this book was an eye-opening experience for me, as I discovered all these stories I had never heard before… but it was a worthwhile one since I’m now able to share them with you. Hopefully, being aware of what has happened in the past will allow us to prevent these problems from happening in the future.
Hope you all enjoy it!