Author Chris Moore signed copies of his latest novel, ?Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ?s Childhood Pal,? Wednesday evening at University Book Store.

Despite the misleading title, Lamb is not a typical religious novel.

?It is a funny take on a story everyone thinks they know,? Moore said.

This satire of the life of Christ, from his childhood days up to his crucifixion, is more of a coming-of-age story than a Biblical work.

Because this novel is offbeat, somewhat controversial and could be taken as offensive, Moore was surprised when the American Library Association voted Lamb as one of this year?s top-ten young adult novels.

?I am sort of chagrined, ? Moore said. ?I never considered this satirical look at Christ to be for young adults.?

Moore said Lamb?s ALA listing has recently forced him to look at his book in a new light.

?I guess Lamb is like Catcher in the Rye set in first century Israel,? he said.

Moore said he is not a pious man — he was raised a baptized Methodist, but never really practiced religion.

?The rest of my upbringing is pretty standard midwestern middle-class suburbia, with short stops at various state universities and menial jobs before I started publishing books in my early thirties,? Moore said.

Moore also said that he wrote this book in order to learn more about theological history.

?I did mostly academic research. I read hundreds of books on archeology, sociology, theology,? Moore said.

Over the past few decades, Moore has published a number of other controversial works touching upon the life of Jesus.

?I worked around the Messiah theme for years in earlier books,? he said. ?In ?Coyote Blue,? the protagonist, Trickster got back into the modern world, but I never fully discussed the theme. I finally said, ?Let?s write about the Messiah.??