"And now, gentlemen, as this board of review prepares to consider young Mr. Wright for Scouting's highest rank, there is one more very important thing we need to ask him. Cameron, tell us, please. Do you believe in God?"
So begins Duck Egg Blue, the timely story of high school freshman Cameron Wright, who, as a result of answering truthfully that he doesn't "really know at this point,"ends up having his coveted Eagle badge withheld.
But this is not the end of Cameron's troubles. While working at home on a small-scale model of the Grand Canyon for a science-class project on evolution (for which he uses the color "duck egg blue" to paint the river), his ultrareligous father objects to the teaching of evolution in science class. Cameron's science teacher, Mark Edwards, is then pressured to give "creation science" equal time with evolution, a directive that threatens his cherished position at the school, the quality of science education, and the right of the students to separation of church and state. Soon the religious right is marching through the public square toward a showdown.
Duck Egg Blue captures a slice of life that is typical of many American towns where radical Christians attempt to insert creationism into public schools. The question of the proper place for religious belief is also causing controversy in another American institution-The Boy Scouts, where several cases similar to Cameron Wright's have made national headlines, one even going to the Supreme Court.
A promising literary talent and a science teacher himself, Derrick Neill is no stranger to the Darwin vs. the Bible debate. Neill also wrote Adventures in Spacetime, a controversial science fiction novel that was censored from his school system when members of the religious right took their fight to the school board.
Engaging, suspenseful, touching, and timely, Duck Egg Blue will move you and it will open your eyes to the dangers of religion used as a political weapon in public schools and other secular institutions.