by Cynthia Rylant

  • ISBN: 0060094338
  • Author: Cynthia Rylant
  • Genre: Teens
  • Subcategory: Literature & Fiction
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: HarperTeen (June 1, 2003)
  • Pages: 64 pages
  • ePUB size: 1506 kb
  • FB2 size 1860 kb
  • Formats txt lrf rtf docx

Rylant's reflective and often humorous verse follows God as he tries out human activities such as getting a dog, writing a fan letter, and making spaghetti

Rylant's reflective and often humorous verse follows God as he tries out human activities such as getting a dog, writing a fan letter, and making spaghetti. About Cynthia Rylant.

God went to beauty school. He went there to learn how. to give a good perm.

FREE shipping on qualifying offers. Toni Morrison has collected a treasure chest of archival photographs that depict the historical events surrounding school desegregation. God went to beauty school. God Got a Dog. God Got in a Boat. God Went to the Doctor.

Award-Winning AWB (Award-Winning-Books) 2012 Books GB Challenges Poetry-Filled .

Award-Winning AWB (Award-Winning-Books) 2012 Books GB Challenges Poetry-Filled Yuletide Cheer Reading Themes Young Adult (YA) Literature. Glimpses of Everyday Life in Cynthia Rylant’s God Went to Beauty School. Cynthia Rylant's God Went To Beauty School. While I was browsing for titles for our Poetry-Filled Yuletide Cheer bimonthly theme and Cynthia Rylant’s God Went to Beauty School appeared in the results, I knew I had to get it. Fortunately, the library has a copy of the book; it was a must that I borrow it. It was, for me, love at first sight.

This is a very powerful book! Thank GOD for Nujood and her story! .

This is a very powerful book! Thank GOD for Nujood and her story! heartbreaking and uplifting. The Newbery Medal and Coretta Scott King Award-winning classic about a boy who decides to hit the road to find his father-from Christopher Paul Curtis, author of The Watsons Go To a Newbery and Coretta Scott King Honoree. It’s in Flint Michigan. Son of a tenant farmer and school teacher, the award-winning novelist was always hungry as a boy. Whether at home, in an orphanage, or in the care of an aunt or grandmother, he begged or stole food without remorse. TIME's 100 non-fiction books - hugely influential book for me.

Rylant's reflective and often humorous verse follows God as he tries out human activities such as getting a dog, writing a fan letter, and making spaghetti as metaphors. Like going to b As I was reading this book, I could tell that it was leading somewhere. Two-time Newberry medalist Cynthia Rylant's God Went to Beauty School is a collection of short poems from the perspective of God-a very, very human God.

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He got into nails, of course, because He'd always loved hands -- hands were some of the best things He'd ever done.

In God Went to Beauty School Cynthia Rylant imagines a God whose curiosities about the world He created inspire Him to go out and experience human things. But what would God do if He could live in a human world? Would He write a fan letter? Get a dog? Make spaghetti?

God Went to Beauty School celebrates the simple things in life while taking a long, hard look at what it means to be human. Rylant's soft, reflective, and often humorous verse glimpses everyday life through wide and wondering eyes and blends the familiar with the profoundly spiritual.

Comments: (7)
In an era of religious extremism and intolerance, this book reminds us that God is for everyone, and that we are each entitled to our own definition of who He/She is. The message that God may be among us or, more romantically, within us, puts more responsibility on us to live well and treat all beings with reverence.
I recommend this book to Theists, Atheists, Humanists, Undecideds, and especially to young people who are forming their own beliefs. It's an inspiring, witty and accessible perspective on a big subject.
But, He/She is!! And that's the point of these radiant, glowing, fun and oh, so totally enlightening poems. I read the book in one sitting and then read it aloud to my husband. He's not a poetry person, but even he loved these poems.

Here are the titles to some of the poems:

God Went To Beauty School

God Got a Dog

God Got in a Boat

God Bought a Couch

God Made Spaghetti

God Went to the Doctor (loved this one! The line, "And God said, well you're pretty good at playing me, I figured you'd know what the problem was," had me rolling with laughter.)

God Got Arrested

God Woke Up

God Took a Bath

God Went Rollerblading

God Caught a Cold

God Saw a Movie

God Wrote a Book

God Got Cable

God Found God

Suffice it to say that this will be the best $5 bucks you spend this week if you buy this amazing little book of poems and they'll have you smiling, nodding, calling your best friend to read them to her and maybe even your mother & kids. Each and every one of her poems is great and delights to the max. Buy this book, no buy several copies so you can share them. I know I'll be buying more, for sure!
OK book. Read in about 1/2 hour. Wouldn't buy again.
A wonderful book for those who don't take themselves too seriously. :) It was recommended at my church and I'm glad I ordered it!
Was a gift or my granddaughter. She loved it.
Real poetry!
Let me preface this review by stating that I think God loves it when individuals attempt to bring theology into the real world and every day life, because it's such a great way to teach us all His preferences, His goals, and what He expects of us. [BTW, by referring to God as 'He' I am not implying God is male, because He is not: only created organisms have gender, and the concept of gender does not apply to God. Jesus, my role model and God's Son, referred to God in the masculine, and that's good enough for me . . . especially since referring to God as She would seem to indicate that I consider God to be a feminine Goddess -- which I do not -- and to use 'It' is inappropriate since God is alive, not an inanimate object.]

Although I do not agree with every theological idea they advanced, I loved and approved of both the television show "Joan of Arcadia" (2003 - 2005) and its theme song by Joan Osborne, "One of Us" (which explores what God would do if God were "one of us"). I have a great respect for the creator of Joan of Arcadia (Barbara Anderson) for getting most of the theology accurate and, as importantly, for creating a groundbreaking way for people to reflect how that theology might play out in every day life.

Similarly, I was disappointed and made sad by a 2004 anthology of theological essays published in reaction to Joan of Arcadia which blasts the show for its premise that God could actually be walking around on earth like "one of us." [The anthology, edited by D. Brent Laytham, is titled 'God is not . . . religious, nice, "one of us," an american, a capitalist.' It is available on Amazon.]

So my objection to Cynthia Rylant's God Went to Beauty School is not because I have a problem with the premise: that God might want to become human to experience life on earth. [And by the way, I do not believe that Jesus, God's son, was actually God Himself -- because Jesus' own words deny this: Jesus repeatedly stated that he did nothing on his own authority and that he relied on God, His Father, to give him the direction he needed to act on God's behalf, as God's representative. Sample Bible passages which contain Jesus' denials are listed at the end of this review.]

Here's why I do not like this book by Cynthia Rylant. First, it's one thing to portray God as human, it's another thing to make Him a worldly human who seems to have no conception of the real God's preferences, plan and goals. Second, not only do Rylant's theological errors outweigh the truths expressed, the truths seem to serve as a vehicle for getting readers to buy into and believe the error (the lie)! Something which does this is generally called "deception."

For example, the title and first poem -- God Went to Beauty School -- rubbed me the wrong way right off the bat, because God finds the unadorned human body supremely beautiful, and over the course of my 40+ year intimate relationship with Him, one of the things He has brought to my attention repeatedly is how much the beauty industry (in all its permutations) offends Him. Indeed, if God's kingdom is ever established here on earth, there will absolutely no longer be any beauty schools, nail salons, or tattoo parlors!

Yes, you occasionally need to get your hair cut, and there is nothing wrong with wanting a style which enhances the attractiveness of your face (as long as it is low maintenance -- i.e., doesn't require too much time and effort -- since God desires we spend our time on more consequential matters) -- and if every now and then you want to gussy-up for a special occasion in an artistic and creative act of self-expression, I'm sure God would delight in that (or, at least, have no problem with it).

But the American beauty industry promotes narcissism and a gross mis-use of human assets and talent; a culture which spends more time and money on hair and nail styling than taking care of those who need help is not a culture of God's creation -- and He certainly would not pander to a sick culture if He were here on earth in human form, amen.

Here is where the poem "God Went to Beauty School" crosses the line into deception: of course God loves the human hand, and I think He would definitely approve of Jewel's song "Hands" which celebrates the worth of the small contributions to life that an individual can make with his/her own two hands. But Rylant's title poem does exactly what all deceptive manipulations do: it uses an obvious Truth (that God loves hands) to sell a Lie (that God would approve of going to a nail salon to have one's nails painted).

Then we move on to poem #2, "God Got a Dog." There is nothing wrong with having a pet, if one keeps the relationship with that pet into perspective: i.e., you don't begin to treat the pet like a human being and elevate your relationship to that pet above your relationships with the human beings in your life. It's like alcohol: it's okay to enjoy alcohol, but it's not okay to desire to get drunk or to drink to the point of becoming an alcoholic. All things in moderation.

This poem rubs me slightly the wrong way BECAUSE of the fact that modern American culture has a pet fetish which has elevated the importance and care of pets to a level far beyond that which is godly. This poem runs dangerously close to endorsing the view of the pet fetishers, especially with the insinuation that the dog might become God's best friend (in addition to the dog being God's only companion in bed). Not to mention that dogs were not really made by God, but by man: God created wolves, and over centuries human beings domesticated and morphed wolves into the creature we know today as domesticated "dogs." Just saying . . .

Poem #3, "God Got in a Boat" is just weird. The Bible says that God inspired Noah very specifically on how to build the Ark. I do not believe that the story of Noah and the Ark is literal history, but I do think the story contains the truth that God inspires us with great ideas, and imparts knowledge to us via the imagination -- so to make it sound like God has no idea what a boat is about, and that the existence of boats are solely due to the genius of human beings alone -- strikes me as wrong.

And then this COMPLETELY bogus statement: "Water had always bored Him." OMG!!!! Water is probably the most amazing and miraculous thing God ever created! Rylant seriously does not know her science: the myriad beneficial properties of water, and the fact that life would not be possible without it -- for example, the human body is composed of over 70% water -- makes it at the top of the list of things God would find fascinating and worthwhile. It offends me greatly that any child -- especially with the urgent need for more and better science/STEM education -- would be told by a poem that God finds water to be boring.

Plus, God being surprised at how wonderful Creation looks from the viewpoint of a boat just makes Him sound like a moron. Come on, Cynthia Rylant! Children deserve better than this!

"God Bought a Couch" -- God would never buy anything with a credit card because He doesn't believe in debt or the charging of interest. This poem makes Him appear small and worldly, plus it personifies Heaven as a physical location which contains a couch -- and with our society's rampant mis-belief in deceptive "near death experiences" (which include tours of a physical Disneyland-like Heaven), God does not need any more vehicles to spread mis-information about the dimension-less, non-physical reality of a realm beyond Creation in which He exists (which we call Heaven).

"God made Spaghetti" -- God cares so little about human health that His meal would consist entirely of white starches? (spaghetti noodles and sourdough bread?) Omg. Can't you just see a credulous third grader thinking it is fine to not eat his vegetables because GOD DOESN'T EAT VEGETABLES EITHER.

Not to mention that one of the last publications on earth God would sit down to read with a meal is The New Yorker, which is worldly, worldly, worldly. (Okay, yes, He would probably choose the New Yorker over People or The National Enquirer, but still . . . .) In a pinch God might watch an episode of NOVA, or read Discover or National Geographic -- but, really, He would invite other human beings to eat with him, and the meal would be utterly devoid of media products, amen. Did Jesus read a paper at the Last Supper? No, I don't think so. The off-hand and banal way Rylant makes statements about God in this poem really bothers me.

"God Went to the Doctor" -- Although medicine is a necessary profession, and God certainly believes you should see a doctor when it is medically necessary, our society fetishizes the medical profession even more than we fetishize pet ownership. I think God is appalled at all the routine vaccinations we shove on newborn babies (like every newborn is an object just like all the other objects, and all of them can tolerate this barrage of chemicals equally well), and overuse of antibiotics is a huge human problem as well -- so to tell a young child that God would hope to get a shot or an antibiotic if He were to go to the doctor sends absolutely the opposite message God would want that child to have about Him.

And God doesn't get a skip in His heart because people don't believe in Him! I think He basically could care less if people "believe" in Him! What He wants is for people to live in the way He desires us to live -- and how we treat all of Creation, including the other people we encounter and interact with -- is the test of whether we are living the way He desires us to live. So if God were to get a skip in His heart, it would be over how we treat one another, not whether "we believe in Him." This poem, like the previous one, reeks of schmaltzy, worldly sentimentalism.

"God Got Arrested" - Barf. God would never disguise himself as "a guy," get a tattoo, or end up in a bar fight. This poem stinks.

"God Woke Up" -- God is not cranky, and this poem makes it sounds like Buddha knows more about life than God does. No.

"God Took a Bath" -- Wow. God has the same over-preoccupation with body image as a worldly, damaged teenage girl? Stop it, Cynthia Rylant, stop it.

"God Went Rollerblading" -- I'm not going to say that God disapproves of rollerblading, but He DOES disapprove of modern society's obsession with extreme sports and putting our lives and bodies at risk in the name of enjoying frivolous activities.

I tried to rollerblade once, but it was overly hard on my ankles and I knew it wasn't right for me (same with ice skating). That doesn't mean it isn't a fine activity for others, though, so again I am not trying to sound disapproving. However, the end of the poem elevates the act of rollerblading way, way, way too far. After stating that rollerblading made God "feel invincible," the poem continues: "God made some other friends on Rollerblades. God thought they were WAY COOL. He was proud of them. Proud that they flew their spirits down the alleys and the boardwalks and the streets, like angels. They were, you know. And they hadn't forgotten." (Barf on the schmaltziness of the last two lines.)

The only time God is proud of humans (in the entire book) is in this poem when they are ROLLERBLADING???? Not when they are volunteering at a soup kitchen, or speaking out against an injustice, or anything like that? No.

It is synchronicity (a meaningful coincidence) that last night just after I read this book (you can read it in 30 minutes) I began reading Chaim Potok's short story "Zebra" to see if it is something my middle schooler might want to read. Guess what happens in "Zebra"? A middle school aged boy loves to go running as fast as he can -- to "fly his spirit down the alleys and the boardwalks and the streets" just like the rollerbladers in Rylant's poem -- because running down the hill makes him feel that he is changing into "an eagle soaring higher and higher, as light as the gentlest breeze, the cool wind caressing his arms and legs and neck." He likes this feeling so much that he ignores his mother's warning that it is dangerous for him to run down a hill so fast he might not be able to stop if necessary, and sure enough, one day he gets hit by a car.

Chaim Potok was not only a short story writer but a theologian and Jewish rabbi. The theological message of his story is the opposite of Rylant's, and, I contend, the more accurate one: God desires us to enjoy pleasurable activities but (again) in moderation -- and "flying" down streets and alleys, whether you do it on foot or on a bicycle or on rollerblades, is a risky behavior which may very well get you hurt, if not killed. Do you really want to "be an angel" that badly? I don't think so.

I'm going to stop there, because I think what I have said so far is enough detail about why I dislike this book!

As mentioned above, here are a few of the Bible passages in which Jesus makes clear he does not think himself to be God:

Matthew 7:21: "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven."

Matthew 24:36: "But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but My Father only."

Mark 10:18: "And Jesus said to him, "Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone."

John 7:16: Jesus answered them and said, "My doctrine is not Mine, but His who sent Me."

John 14:24: "He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father's who sent Me."

John 12:49: "For I have not spoken on My own authority; but the Father who sent Me gave Me a command, what I should say and what I should speak."
I picked this book up at the insistence of our school librarian and I will always be grateful I did. The humor and poignancy within these pages transcend mere religion and get under your skin very quickly. Underneath the humor are so many truths and ideas that this book could be reread many times with new perceptions emerging every time. It's not just a YA book; it's an "everybody" book! Highly, highly recommended.
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