Paola’s Book Bites: Catholic Bibles

Beginner Bibles

Great Adventure Kids Bible Series
By Emily Cavins and Sarah Christmyer
Publisher: Ascension Press

This dynamic learning system is designed to teach children the story of the Bible in an interactive manner by focusing on the narrative periods and stories of the Bible.

I especially love the coloring book and include it in my lesson plans for Kindergarten. Your child can color along as you read aloud the corresponding stories of the Bible. This system is based on the very successful Great Adventure line of adult Bible study materials, which have helped hundreds of thousands of people all over the world grow in love for Sacred Scripture and make reading it a part of their daily lives.

Through play, memorization, prayer, and interaction, these learning tools bring familiar Bible stories into a system where children can relate them to their own life while learning the story of Salvation History. (Gr. K-6)

Kit includes:
Bible Timeline – Chart color-coded accordion-style folding chart detailing the 12 periods of Bible history. with vibrant colors and kid-friendly illustrations. Great to use with your history curriculum.
Bible Card Game Set – Instructions for five games are included designed to teach players as young as three the “big picture” of salvation history.
10” x 13” Bible Story Coloring Book – 49 pages of illustrated Bible stories. with four coloring pages from each of the 12 periods of Bible history, ideal for younger children, but helpful for all readers to capture the overall story of the Bible in the context of the 12 periods of Bible history. Best used when reading the Bible to little ones.
• Color-coded bookmark – scaled-down version of The Great Adventure Bible Timeline Chart for easy reference.
Prayer Beads – Used in conjunction with the Bible Timeline Prayer (printed on the back panel of the Great Adventure Kids Bible Timeline Chart) Designed to emphasize the important lessons God wants us to learn from each period of Bible history and helps children learn God’s plan for their lives.

cover_bibleforchildrenThe Catholic Bible for Children
Publisher: Magnificat

This is an excellent choice to use with Kindergarten or 1st graders to help them become familiar with Scripture. This is the Bible I recommend in my Kindergarten Religion Lesson Plans. From the creation of the world to the infancy of the Church, the important stories from both the Old and New Testament are vividly retold and illustrated for young people. Also included are chapters on the prophets and the psalms. A Scripture verse is offered for most stories and can be used as memory work. In the back is a glossary of important people, places and objects, providing added information. (Pre-K, 238 pages, 6½” x 8½”, Softcover, $$)

 

New Catholic Picture Bible   New Catholic Picture Bible
By Rev. Lawrence G. Lovasik, S.V.D. 
Publisher: Catholic Book Publishing

This is a natural second Bible to follow a beginner Bible. The stories are longer and more detailed, providing ample depth for Bible retellings. Fr. Lovasik is faithful to the original Scripture in his prose of these important Bible stories. This is the preferred book for my First Grade Religion Lesson Plans. Here are Catholic stories taken from the Holy Bible, intended for the whole family and easy to understand. The first part treats the Old Testament from Adam to Christ and contains the most important and memorable events in God’s dealings with man during that time. The second part contains sixty stories from the New Testament that narrate beautifully the life, teachings, and work of Our Lord and Savior. These simply written stories, praised by leading Catholic educators for their style, will delight your children time after time. (Gr. 1-3, 240 pages, 5¾” x 8¾”, HC, $)


The Golden Children’s Bible The Golden Children's Bible by Golden Books

Publisher: Penguin/Random House

Perfect for your next step after the New Catholic Picture Bible. This is a great keepsake Bible for your 3rd to 5th graders. Use it for Bible retellings (as I lay out in my 4th grade Lesson plans), or for reading alone, the language is sophisticated and provides much depth for a closer resemblance to Sacred Scripture. Main events of the Old Testament are retold chronologically. New Testament combines all four Gospels into one detailed account and gives accounts from Acts, the Epistles and even Revelation. Written in a clear, simple, yet beautiful style for children. Approved by an editorial board of Catholic, Protestant and Jewish scholars. Original copyright 1965. Realistic full-color illustrations on every page! (Gr. K-6, 510 pages, HC, $$)

Middle Grades – High School Bibles


The Ignatius Catholic Bible Ignatius Bible (RSV) 2nd Edition

Publisher: Ignatius Press

This is our go-to Bible for our 6th grade and up children. Our kids have all received a copy as their Confirmation gift and have taken these copies to college—as it was the preferred version at Christendom , Thomas Aquinas College, and Benedictine College where our children attended. The only contemporary Catholic Bible translation in standard English is even more beautiful in word and design! There are nine color reference maps of such historical places and events as The Exodus from Egypt, Jerusalem – From David to Christ, Palestine in Christ’s Time, and The Holy Land in Modern Times. Also, the Revised Standard Version, second Catholic edition is the only Bible translation that uses standard (non-feminist) English and is in conformity with the Church’s translation guidelines found in the Vatican document, Liturgiam Authenticam. Comes in a variety of formats, Paperback, Hardcover, Compact Leather, and Large Print and eBook. ($$)

Ignatius Study Bible Series          The Gospel According to John, Catholic Study Bible (2nd Ed.) eBook - 25% off

By Scott Hahn/Curtis Mitch
Publisher: Ignatius Press

This is a great help to you and your child’s lessons on particular books of the Bible for its rich annotations, references to other texts in the Bible and Catechism.  We also use the study questions for discussion prompts.  I often found that the material was rich in its content and touched their hearts in such a way that opened up discussions towards their relationship with God. Time is best spent once a week discussing the chapters.  How do you begin discussions of such weighty stuff?  We will use the Study Questions and Questions for Application that go with each chapter. We use the Catechism questions in the Study Guides written by Scott Hahn and Curtis Mitch to help the parent lead the discussion by providing detailed notes on passages and verses as well as study questions. Very accessible. I detail how to use these in my 6th and 7th grade Religion Lesson Plans. (Grade 6+, PB, or eBook, $$)

Here is a listing of the titles available: †Gospel of Matthew††Gospel of Mark††Gospel of Luke††Gospel of John††Acts of the Apostles††Letters of St. Paul††Genesis††Exodus††Job††… and many more!

The Bible Compass      

By Dr. Edward Sri
Publisher: Ascension Press

Excellent companion to Bible study in high school. The Bible is central to our faith as Catholics, but approaching such a large and complex collection of writings that span thousands of years is intimidating for most of us. The Bible Compass provides readers with the tools to study the Word of God with confidence and purpose within the living Tradition of the Catholic Church. As Catholics we are called to have an intimate knowledge of Jesus Christ and the Church as revealed in the Scriptures. Reading the Bible with the proper tools and in the appropriate context will help you grow in your love for the Faith and in your relationship with Jesus Christ himself, who is “the Word made Flesh,” (John 1:1) (Gr 8+, 149 pages, PB, $$)

Truth & Life Dramatized Audio Bible New Testament  
Produced by Raymond Arroyo
Publisher: FutureSoft, Inc

This awesome audio bible is “…not just reading,” explains producer Raymond Arroyo, “these actors are performing, sharing these stories in the same way they were originally communicated—passed from person to person as part of an oral tradition. The stories come alive. propelling us right into history, the way it might have happened.” “… Performed like this,” he says, “you are thrown into the middle of the action. The Bible is suddenly not only understandable, but arresting and compelling.”

Listening is important!!! When reading, we tend to skim and miss important points. Not only will this enhance your child’s Bible studies, it will improve listening skills and ultimately instill a more active participation at Mass. It is endorsed with an Imprimatur from the Vatican and includes a foreword by Pope Benedict XVI. Voiced by internationally-renowned actors. Go to their website truthandlifeapp.com to listen to clips from  The Gospel of Mark. (Revised Standard Version – Catholic Edition translation. The complete audio New Testament is 22 hours, on 18 CD’s, or now as a new app with the Ignatius Bible too, $$)

Please let me know what are your favorite Bibles too!

Paola’s Book Bites: Purity

Here are my go to list of books for passing onto family and friends, on the virtue of purity.  Each book or video offers something practical and more importantly spiritual for fostering purity in our own lives and those most near and dear to us!

Choosing Beauty: A 30-Day Spiritual Makeover for Women
By Gina Loehr
Publisher: Franciscan Media

Gina Loehr does it again, I really enjoyed her insight into the lives of women saints in her book Real Women, Real Saints and learned much from their virtues….now Gina takes us on a real and practical retreat towards inner beauty…the kind that reflects the joy of our Faith. Mascara will help and eyeliner too, but the surest way to a beautiful you doesn’t require hours at the cosmetics counter. The best beauty routine starts within. Choosing Beauty guides you through a day-by-day inner makeover that will give you a glow that can only come through a life infused with the virtues. Learn how to step away from gossip, grow in courage, practice mercy and enter more fully into the qualities that will allow your inner light to shine. A great addition to Choosing Beauty is the inclusion of lively reflections on the virtues presented and questions for discussion. This is a good book to share with your teenage daughters, too! (High School+, 128 pages, PB, $$)

 

All Things Girl: Friends, Fashion, and Faith
By Cheryl Dickow
Publisher: Bezalel Books

In this exciting book, girls will explore John Paul II’s Letter to Women and will learn how to manage their time and money. They will see themselves in the light of Christ and will learn how to develop a rich and rewarding prayer life. All Things Girl is written for tween and teen-aged girls covering such topics as living a soulful life (what does it really mean to have a soul?), discerning a vocation (consecrated, married or single?), developing a prayer life (getting past boredom and into the good stuff!), living responsibly (financially and spiritually) with dignity and modesty, and finding the right role models (like St. Gianna Beretta Molla). This is the book all women wish they had when they were young girls…and now can’t wait to give! (Ages 12+, 84 pages, 7” x 10”, PB, $$)

 

All Things Guy: A Guide to Becoming a Man that Matters
By Teresa Tomeo, Molly Miller, Monica Cops and Cheryl Dickow
Publisher: Bezalel Books

This much needed and asked for book is filled with information that every young Catholic boy should have at his fingertips. The sections include: Dignity; Virtues and More; Media and Men that Matter; Vocations; Family and Friends; Body; Know Your History; Boys in the Kitchen; Strong Catholic Men Today; and Building a Prayer Life or bettter known as Basic Combat Training. (Ages 9-15, 200 pages, PB, $$)

“This book talks to kids straight on, no soft peddling, no sidestepping. It speaks to them where they live too much of the time – in the pop culture and media world. It says what good, faithful parents want to say, but may not always be able to find the words.” – Dr. Ray Guarendi, Best-Selling Catholic Author and Speaker

Theology of His/Her Body
By Jason Evert

From Genesis we know that God created men and women in His image and likeness, and from the first letter of John that “God is love”. Therefore men and women are made in the image and likeness of Love. This isn’t hard to see. Look at the design of the male and female bodies. They are made for each other. In fact, neither makes complete sense apart from the other. In this book — which utilizes a dynamic, “flip” book design to be “two books in one” well-known chastity speaker and author Jason Evert unpacks the mystery of what is means to be male and female in light of the Theology of the Body in a language teenagers understand. Your young adults will learn about the profound realities to which their bodies point – and how to live chastely and lovingly towards those of the opposite sex in the way we are created and not in the way the “world” is trying to lead them. This book is so well grounded and solid and never talks down to the reader but lifts them towards the divine plan God has placed in their hearts. (HS+, 102 pages, PB, $$)

Love is a Choice
Publisher: Ignatius Press

This sweet video documents the heroic life of St. Gianna Molla through interviews with her husband, children, friends, letters, and family mementos. You actually watch home movies of this amazing saint! Wow!

St. Gianna, who sacrificed her life to save her unborn baby, was a mother, a medical doctor, a lover of opera, art, and culture; one who can speak much to our present day especially when family life is threatened on so many fronts. This DVD contains the following language options: English, Spanish, or Italian. (DVD, 52 minutes)

St. Gianna Molla: Wife, Mother and Doctor
By Pietro Molla & Elio Guerriero
Publisher: Ignatius Press

Another great role model for our time!! Dr. Gianna Molla (1923-1962) was a dynamic and devoted wife, mother and physician. She loved skiing, playing piano and attending concerts in her native Italy. During her fourth pregnancy she was diagnosed with uterine tumors. She refused treatment that would have aborted her child, opting for a surgery that posed greater risk to herself. After delivering the baby she succumbed to an infection from the surgery. Newly canonized, this multi-faceted woman shows us the ultimate maternal sacrifice as a worthy and even joyful martyrdom. A fitting intercessor in this age of endless attacks on unborn children. (High school+, 125 pages, Illustrated, PB $, .epub $$)

“A woman of exceptional love, an outstanding wife and mother, Gianna Molla gave witness in her daily life to the demanding values of the Gospel.”
– Pope John Paul II

Paola’s Book Bites: Apologetics Catholic Style

THE PROVE-IT SERIES Prove it S

By Amy Welborn
Publisher: Our Sunday Visitor

Finally! Finally! Finally!

These books are excellent, well grounded in truth, but also fun, funny, and simply marvelous! So many apologetic books are simply too dense for those of us who are not experts. This series speaks to teenagers in a way that inspires, and gives dialogue that is personal and real. It defends basic truths in a way that everyone can understand. These books are full of charming illustrations and quips such as “An atheist is a man who believes himself an accident.” It also contains more serious arguments, such as Isaac Newton’s statement that, “the existence of a Being endowed with intelligence and wisdom is a necessary inference from a study of celestial mechanics.” Each chapter dissects a separate argument against the Faith. Now teenagers and others can defend themselves with confidence – and a little humor, too! Five different volumes available; God, Jesus, Church, Prayer, and You. (Gr. 7+, approx. 115 pages, PB, $)

Friendly Defenders: Catholic Flash Cards   

by Matthew Pinto, Katherine Andes

Publisher: Ascension Press

Fifty full color flashcards that can help you build a sturdy foundation for the faith in yourself as well as your kids. The five lovable characters make learning about the faith entertaining as well as beneficial. You’ll quickly be able to answer questions like “Why pray to Mary when you can go directly to Jesus”, and “How can you believe a piece of bread is really Jesus?” with simple short answers! Comes in two volumes, 1 & 2. (Ages 8+, 50 full color flashcards, $)

A Philadelphia Catholic in King James’s CourtPhilly Catholic

By Martin de Porres Kennedy

Publisher: Lilyfield Press

An extremely fun way to learn Apologetics! We recommend assigning this book before your high-school student begins their Apologetics Religion course. This novel will engage you as you learn to explain the Faith alongside our story’s hero. Set on a horse-powered farm in Kentucky, 17 year-old Michael visits evangelical relations. Over the summer, Michael joins the Bible studies at his uncle’s non-denominational church and is challenged by many, to defend his faith, using only the Bible. This book covers commonly discussed doctrines such as the Papacy, Mary’s role in salvation, and the Eucharist. The book is charitable, and entertains while it informs. Perfect for teens and adults. Used by hundreds of parishes and groups for RCIA, religious education, book discussion groups, and Bible studies. Don’t miss the dramatic and surprising conclusion.

Philly Catholic Study Guide*Study guide is also available!!
††A Philadelphia Catholic in King James’ Court (Ages 14+, 323 pages, PB, $)
††Study Guide: A Philadelphia Catholic in King James’ Court (53 pages, PB, $)

 

Surprised by Truth Surprised by truth

By Patrick Madrid
Publisher: Basilica Press

When I received this book as a gift from my husband, little did I know that soon we would both be fighting to read it! It is absolutely an amazing,  hopeful, and inspiring collection of 11 conversion stories. You will be touched, moved and motivated to evangelize, while furthering your own knowledge of our glorious faith. Many of the stories have numerous Scripture references, and therefore making it perfect to be used by homeschoolers for the study of Apologetics. Simply amazing!  (High School to Adult, 269 pages, PB, $$)

Surprised by Truth 2 Surprised by Truth 2

By Patrick Madrid
Publisher: Sophia Press

Two Cardinals, five bishops, and scores of Catholic leaders love Surprised by Truth 2—you will, too!
This collection of testimonies by people who’ve found new life in the Catholic Church is one of the most potent weapons for the Faith ever crafted! These authors don’t just tell their stories — they also give you an insider’s view of the fatal weaknesses in the creeds and belief systems that beckon unwary Catholics every day: Fundamentalism, New Age paganism, Mormonism, materialistic hedonism, and many others.
You’ll discover why these converts forsook beliefs cherished by their families and friends in order to enter the Catholic Church. Their reasons are so compelling that you can use them to draw your own non-Catholic friends and relatives to the Faith. These converts will also convince your wavering Catholic friends to stay Catholic, and they’ll even bolster your own faith when anti-Catholic arguments start to make you doubt. You’ll come away with new gratitude that God has given you the Faith, and with a strong new tool you can use to stand proudly for that Faith. (High School to Adult, 320 pages, PB $$, .epub $)

SAN JUAN CATHOLIC SEMINARS—BEGINNING APOLOGETICS SERIES Beginning Apologetics set

By Fr. Frank Chacon, Jim Burnham and Steve Wood

Publisher: San Juan Catholic Seminars

Keep your family and friends Catholic! We keep a set close by our front door and have used them for those door-to-door evangelists, especially Books 2 and 3 on how to answer Jehovah Witnesses and Mormons.  Each booklet in this fabulous series is so well distilled into clear language on each important truth of our faith. We turn to them time and time again for reference in high school religion, especially in our semester of Apologetics. The topics presented in each booklet can be used to form essay topics or debate topics too! I usually require the first in the series to give a general overview of the most essential truths of our faith and a practical way to articulate these truths to others.  Then we devote time on the booklet for Eucharist, the Bible and Mary.  (High School to Adult, approx. 40 pages each, PB, $)

Concordance – One double-sided laminated sheet with Bible references

Beginning Apologetics 1: How to Explain and Defend the Catholic Faith
Study Guide for Beginning Apologetics 1

Beginning Apologetics 2: How to Answer Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons

Beginning Apologetics 2.5: Yes! You Should Believe in the Trinity:How to Answer Jehovah’s Witnesses

Beginning Apologetics 3: Discovering the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist

Beginning Apologetics 4: How to Answer Atheists and New Agers

Beginning Apologetics 5: How to Answer the Tough Moral Questions

Beginning Apologetics 6: How to Explain and Defend Mary

Beginning Apologetics 7: How to Read the Bible

Beginning Apologetics 8: The End Times

Beginning Apologetics 9: How to Answer Muslims

Cor Unum! One Heart & The Sacred Heart

The von Trapp family, of the Sound of Music fame, called their home in Vermont “Cor Unum” – Latin for: One Heart. They dedicated it to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and in so doing, called their family to be of one heart for our Lord.
image from: www.stowetoday.com
image from: www.stowetoday.com
Theirs was a touching and beautiful gesture that we repeated when we purchased our building to run our family business Emmanuel Books in 2001.  We dedicated the building and had it blessed on the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and even made a heart shaped cake to celebrate.
We continue to consecrate our works to the Sacred Heart.  It is with much gratitude and love that we offer to you our latest in the “Reclaim the Saints” series for Living the Liturgical Year, Sacred Heart of Jesus! In it you will make your very own Sacred Heart Shrines, Holy Cards, a 10-page Prayer book, learn the history of this devotion and so much more!
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Join us for the month of June and the devotion to the Sacred Heart!

History Worth Remembering Timeline Figures™

Teaching history to children today is imperative.  After all history often repeats itself and we learn important and essential truths from our past. Giving them the perspective of what happened when is critical.  Laying the foundation by making a timeline each year gives you a framework,  perspective.  However, for years we had searched high and low for timeline figures that included a balanced Catholic perspective on history, where the contributions of Catholics throughout time are fairly represented in the context of other events. No creature existed, so we embarked on our own venture . With the aid of balanced resources, we worked for many years as a family pooling together our collective interests and talents to create a set of historical timeline figures.  In fact we made six complete sets and a FREE set of printed lines with dates to make this vital element to any history curriculum possible and EASY!

We named the History Worth Remembering Timeline Figures™ as  I recalled so long ago an article written by Laura Berquist that spoke of 3286the importance of studying history and incorporating timelines with your study.  You can begin as a family making one altogether and make one day a week “Timeline Day”.  Some families have found it helpful to have each child make their own and build on it each year as they study through the major time periods of civilization.

The figures now come in a digital version, to make it affordable for families, buy it once and print up as you need them when you need them as often as you need them for your entire family.  They can be printed on sticky back paper so your child can color them, cut them out and place them in appropriate places on their very own personal timelines. We recommend using durable and sturdy blank books.  either in a landscape or portrait orientation.  Using colored pencils give it a personal touch and work easily for even your little guys.

HWR spread

They can also be placed on index cards or laminated to be used for a history trivia game or on a large bulletin board in your family school room showing the complete span of history. One family told us the kids made colored borders for each figure, each color highlighting those that are saints in the Catholic Church, another color for places, another for events, etc. You too will find many uses for these timeline figures on your own, especially as you let your children guide the way!

HWR Timeline Art

Click here to see Samples of ALL SIX sets:

 

Featured Author: CAROLINE DALE SNEDEKER

Featured Author: CAROLINE DALE SNEDEKER

Rarely do splendid characters reach across space and time, inviting us into the unexpected familiar of the past.

Living history books are truly great treasures and Caroline Dale Snedeker writes just such works. Mrs. Snedeker shapes and develops her characters with such vivacity that they come to life not only within the context of her stories but continue to exist long after the last page has been read. With her delightful weaving of history and fiction, she guides us through the winding streets of ancient Athens, the war-torn lands of Gaul, and the lovely solitude of old Nantucket.

Snedeker’s true love is the ancient world. Six of her books from American Homeschool Publishing are in that genre:, including Lysis Goes to the Play, Theras and his Town, A Triumph for Flavius, and The White Isle. Common threads of human emotion fill the pages of her works, connecting us in familial love, fear, pride, honor, compassion, and friendship to her vivid characters. Each story highlights the beauty found in the honor and responsibility to one’s family.

Theras and His Town (Ancient Greece)

Publisher: American Home School Publishing

In the pages of Theras and his Town, the young Theras is orphaned when his father dies fighting for Athens. More misfortune befalls Theras when a Spartan adopts him and tears the young boy away from his family and his beloved city. He plots his escape in the harsh landscape of Sparta, where all education is bent on warfare. Will he make it back safely to Athens or will more danger find this courageous young man? (Gr. 6+, 237 pages, PB, $$)

The Spartan (Ancient Greece)

Publisher: American Home School

This story is the tale of a young man who leaves his beloved Athens for the harsh brutality of Spartan military life. He adapts to the austere Spartan culture and quickly rises to fame. Because he survived a battle, he is disgraced by Spartan code and must flee the city with his mother’s curse upon him. This powerful story of Aristodemos the Coward recounts one man’s journey to clear his tainted name and legacy. It is during this pilgrimage that Aristodemos fully realizes his destiny to save Greece from the grasp of the Persians. Follow the courageous soldier from Sparta to Sicily as he searches to clear his tainted name and free himself from the bonds of his mother’s curse. Caroline Dale Snedeker weaves a fascinating tale around the historic battles of Thermopylæ and Platæa and the men whose lives were defined by these contests. A great addition to your studies of Ancient Greece! (Ages 13+, 374 pages, PB, $$)

Lysis Goes to the Play (Ancient Greece)

Publisher: American Home School Publishing

Lysis Goes to the Play involves a young boy who longs to attend an extremely popular event in ancient Greece–the theater! With his mother and father away, all hopes of going to the play are dashed until Lysis and his sister hatch a plan. Mrs. Snedeker artfully depicts ancient Grecian life, symbolizing the differing roles of men and women as well as free men and slaves, through Lysis and his relationships with family and friends. (Grade 3+, 62 pages, PB, $)

The White Isle (Ancient Rome

Publisher: American Home School Publishing

Lavinia and her family leave the safety of ancient Rome, exiled to the wilds of Britannia in The White Isle. As they make their way across Europe, they encounter many Roman outposts, as well as curious strangers before reaching the frontier country of Britain. What an exciting and dangerous time to be living in ancient England! The building of Hadrian’s Wall begins at the time of Lavinia’s arrival as well as the dawn of Breton Christianity. Will Lavinia cling to the traditions of Rome or will she realize her destiny in this distant and barbaric country? (Gr. 7+, 271 pages, PB, $$)

A Triumph for Flavius (Ancient Rome)

Publisher: American Home School Publishing

Snedeker delicately treats the subject of slavery in A Triumph for Flavius. Flavius’ father returns from war and presents him a captured Greek nobleman as a slave. Even young Flavius recognizes this man’s dignity and his right to live freely. Discover how the love of one boy can change the course of another’s life. (Ages 9-11, 87 pages, PB, $$)

 

The Forgotten Daughter (Ancient Rome)

Publisher: American Home School Publishing

Chloé is abandoned by her Roman father and made a slave on one of his villas, forced to live in a tiny, dark slave hut. Chloé’s only comfort is her late mother’s friend and fellow slave, Melissa, who tells the young girl about her Grecian mother. For years, the young girl existed only through Melissa’s stories and her own dreams. Chloé’s life is tossed upside down the day she rescued the young and handsome nobleman, Aulus, and life really begins! The unlikely friendship between the noble Roman soldier and the young slave quickly blossoms into love. Many obstacles lie ahead for the new couple, one of them being Chloé’s reluctance to accept and welcome the father she has bitterly hated. This amazing narrative on the life of a Roman slave seamlessly ties the studies of Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome together and is a wonderful way to bridge these two civilizations! (Ages 12+, 206 pages, PB, $$)

Downright Dencey (19th C. America)

Publisher: Bethlehem Books

I could not put Downright Dencey down and when I was forced to do so, I could not wait to begin reading again! This charming story is set against the backdrop of Nantucket Island life where tranquility is disturbed by the War of 1812 and by husbands and fathers leaving families for long absences to make a life at sea. Into this world, we meet Dionis “Dencey” Coffyn who struggles against her natural tendencies and the Quaker discipline she has been taught. She risks her family, reputation, and the promise of a bright future when she vows to teach Sam Jetsam, a troublemaker and outcast, how to read. Will she lose everything or will the determination of one young girl change an entire town? This is a beautiful story of love, friendship, family, responsibility, and religion that readers of all ages can enjoy! (Ages 12+, 268 pages, PB $, .epub $$)

Here we share a biographical note fromThe Horn Book Magazine written by her sister, Nina Parke Stilwell:

“She was happiest while writing, for her characters were companions whom she missed when she finished her books. Before actually writing a story, she would steep herself in the background of her characters; then, as she wrote, they acted of themselves. The author could not force them to act contrary to their way of life. She studied Greek art, literature, religion, and philosophy for six years in preparation for her first book, The Spartan[1912], which was laid in ancient Greece. She was a student all her life, even during the latter part when she was bedridden; at 82 she published A Triumph for Flavius [1955].”

 

Paola’s Book Bites: Ancient Egypt

Ancient Egyptians and Their Neighbors

By Marian Broida

No study of Ancient Egypt can be complete without some exploration into the other cultures that existed at the same time and what better way than to add hands-on fun along with informative text. This unique activity book for children shows what life was like among the Nubians, Mesopotamians, Hittites, and their neighbors the Egyptians from around 3100 B.C., when Upper and Lower Egypt became one kingdom, to the death of Queen Cleopatra under the Romans, in 30 B.C. Projects such as building a Nubian irrigation machine, creating a Mesopotamian cylinder seal out of clay, and writing in Hittite cuneiform help young readers to connect with these ancient cultures and see how profoundly they have influenced our own. (PB 208 pp. 11” x 8 1/2”, 25 B/W Photos, ages 9+)

Ancient Egypt Drawing Book

By Ralph Masiello 

I love when we can incorporate art lessons into our study of history.  In this engaging book Ralph Masiello explores the mysteries of Ancient Egypt, from the great pyramid of Khafra to Queen Nefertiti. Step-by-step diagrams show kids how to draw pyramids, sphinxes, pharaohs, and more. Bonus steps encourage young artists to customize their drawings with historically accurate symbols and other details. An introduction and annotations throughout the book provide a glimpse into the fascinating world of this ancient civilization. (PB, Gr. 3-7)

Secrets of the Pyramids: A Maze Adventure

By Graham White

This challenging maze book is not just for fun, but is interspersed with fun facts about historical topics and culminates with a special code-cracking puzzle. All mazes are finger-traceable for easy reuse, and solutions are shown in the back of the book. In Secrets of the Pyramids, a friend’s father is trapped inside the Great Pyramid. To reach him, readers have to make their way through secret tunnels and chambers, deciphering hieroglyphics, uncovering buried treasures, and learning a lot about pyramid construction and life in the age of pharaohs. (PB 32 pages, size 9” x 11”, Gr. 3-8)

Great Ancient Egypt Projects You Can Build Yourself

By Carmella Van Vleet

From reed boats, papyrus, and amulets to pyramids, pharaohs, and mummies, this interactive activity book explores the fascinating lives of ancient Egyptians with more than two dozen hands-on projects.

The informative text covers ancient Egyptian food and housing, games and toys, farming, medicine, clothing and jewelry, as well as gods, pharaohs, hieroglyphs, pyramids, temples, and mummies. It gives readers today a chance to experience how the ancient Egyptians lived, cooked, worked, worshipped, entertained themselves, and interacted with their neighbors through building projects that use common household items.

These engaging projects using easily obtainable materials and requiring little adult supervision build on what is taught in each section and include building a shaduf, making a 1:1,000 scale model of the Great Pyramid, cooking flatbread, recreating papyrus, mixing perfume, designing a cartouche using hieroglyphs, and making sandals in the style worn by King Tut. Detailed step-by-step instructions, diagrams, and templates for creating each project are combined with historical facts and anecdotes, biographies, and trivia for the real-life models of each project. Together they give kids a first-hand look at daily life in ancient Egypt. (PB, 128 pp. 60 Color Illustrations, 100 Line Drawings, 30 Diagrams, 8” x 10”, Gr. 5-8)

God King

By Joanne Williamson

A never before published tale by the author of Hittite Warrior. It tells the story of Egypt during the Kushite dynasty. Young Taharka has assumed the throne after his father’s death, and is quickly pushed into exile by his own people, causing him to fall into the hands of Amos, an emissary of King Hezekiah seeking help for Judea from the Egyptians against the Assyrians. Now Taharka finds himself in the middle of a battle and having to choose between two kings – Sennacherib, the Assyrian, promising alliance – and Hezekiah, the Jew who trusts in Yahweh – and with whom he will live and die. (211 pages quality softcover – Ages 10+)

The Golden Goblet

By Eloise Jarvis McGraw

A young boy is orphaned and left in the care of his older brother. His life’s ambition has been to learn the trade of a goldsmith in whose shop he serves, but his brother threatens to apprentice him to the stonecutters. (PB, 248 pages, Grade 4-8)

 

 

Mara, Daughter of the Nile

By Eloise Jarvis McGraw

A slave girl finds herself playing the dangerous role of double spy for two arch enemies— each of whom supports a contender for the throne of Egypt. (PB, 279 pages, Ages 11+)

 

 

 

Hittite Warrior

By Joanne Williamson

Judea has always been the crossroads and battlefield of contending nations. When Uriah Tarhund’s Hittite home is destroyed by invading Greeks, his dying father tells him to go south and seek a Canaanite named Sisera. Uriah is plunged into the tumult of an uneasy Judea. When he saves a young boy from being sacrificed to Moloch, he is given succor for a time by the Hebrews. Later he finds Sisera and joins him in war against these same people. When the Canaanites are defeated, the young Hittite has the opportunity to come to a peace with himself, the Hebrew people and their God. Set in 1200 B.C. (PB, 238 pages, Ages 10+)

Paola’s Book Bites: Encounter the Saints Series

ENCOUNTER THE SAINTS SERIES

St John Paul II: Be Not Afraid
By Sr. Susan Helen Wallace, FSP

John Paul II, who served as Pope during the last 25 years of the 20th century and who led the Church with hope into the third Christian millennium, was beatified six short years after his death on May 1, 2011. Born in 1920 to a devout Catholic family, ordained a priest in 1946, ordained a bishop in 1958, and elected Pope on October 16, 1978; the first non-Italian Pope in 455 years. From that moment he took the Church and the world by storm. He traveled the world to proclaim Jesus Christ to all people, making a tremendous impact on hearts and minds and drawing large crowds everywhere he went. John Paul II never let oppression and tyranny spoil his dreams or dampen his faith. It is a message every child needs to hear as they try to be a true follower of Jesus. (Grade 4+, 111 pages, 4 ½” x 7”, PB, $)

St. Gianna Beretta Molla: The Gift of Life
By Susan Helen Wallace, FSP

This title in the series for younger readers tells the inspiring story of Saint Gianna from her awaited birth to her touching death. This book reveals the friendly and loving Gianna while we see her coping with the death of her siblings and later her parents, moving to different places throughout her childhood years, struggling with schoolwork, falling in love with her future husband, fulfilling her duties as a doctor and raising children. Gianna was impressed with the idea that we can prepare ourselves for heaven by the way we live on earth. Gianna studied medicine and became a doctor in 1949 specializing in pediatrics. Practicing medicine was not just her job, but the way she obeyed Jesus’ command to love one another and nurture both body and soul. It was not until she met Pietro, the brother of one of her dying patients, that Gianna realized that God was calling her to marry and be a good Christian wife, mother and doctor. (Grade 4+, 112 pages, 4 ½” x 7”, PB, $)

St. John Vianney: A Priest for All People
By Elizabeth Marie DeDomenico, FSP

Discover the life story of St. John Vianney—beloved patron saint of parish priests. From his youth during the tumultuous French Revolution, to his difficult years of study and amazing work to rebuild the parish of Ars, John Vianney is a model of love for God that spilled over into tireless care for others. Historical and cultural details make the story of this remarkable saint come alive for young readers. Also includes a glossary, features black and white illustrations by Ben Hake and a concluding prayer. (Grade 4+, 128 pages, 4 ½” x 7”, PB, $)

St. Damien of Molokai: Hero of Hawaii
By Virginia H. Richards

Canonized by Pope Benedict XVI on October 11th of 2009, Joseph De Veuster was an ordinary boy growing up in Belgium in the mid 1800’s, planning to take over the family farm as he grew older, until he was called to a new vocation-the life of a priest. Joseph became Father Damien and was sent as a missionary to Hawaii and, eventually, to volunteer to go to Molokai to become the priest for those suffering from leprosy. He ministered to those who were quarantined on this remote and desolate island. He brought dignity and more important, Jesus in the Eucharist to his new family, the lepers of Molokai. This truly is an amazing and inspiring life of service in the name of God. (Grade 4+, 102 pages, 4 ½” x 7”, PB, $)

St Bakhita of Sudan: Forever Free
By Susan Helen Wallace, FSP

Kidnapped into slavery at the age of seven and brought to Italy as a teenager, the indomitable Bakhita eventually became a Catholic nun and spent over fifty years joyously serving her Lord as a Canossian Sister. In 2000, Pope John Paul II canonized her. This African saint’s engrossing life story, heroic choices, and forgiving heart make her a wonderful role model! (Grade 4+, 102 pages, 4 ½” x 7”, PB, $)

St. Edith Stein: Blessed by the Cross
By Patricia Jablonski, FSP

Learn about a saint of our times…a brilliant Jewish philosopher born in Germany before WWI. After reading the biography of St. Teresa of Avila, she converted in 1922 and became a Carmelite nun! She was also martyred in Auschwitz during WWII and was canonized by John Paul II in 1998. (Grade 4+, 115 pages, 4 ½” x 7”, PB, $)

 

 

St. Maximilian Kolbe: Mary’s Knight
By Patricia Jablonski, FSP

Learn about another great saint of our times… born in Poland in 1894 to poor, but devout Catholic parents. At a young age, he asked Mary what would become of him…and when she appeared to him, she asked would he accept the crown of purity or of martyrdom. He accepted both! After becoming a Franciscan priest, he began Militia Immaculatae as well as a publication Knight of the Immaculate. In Nazi occupied Poland, he was sent to Auschwitz, where he asked to take the place of another prisoner (who was a father and husband) selected for starvation in reprisal for the escape of three prisoners! He was canonized by John Paul II in 1982. (Grade 4+, 115 pages, 4 ½” x 7”, PB, $)

St. Pio of Pietrelcina: Rich in Love
By Eileen Bertanzetti

Known to us first as Padre Pio, he was born of poor farmers in southern Italy in 1887. He had poor health, but through grace became a priest in 1910. Many were attracted to his confessional and saintly counsel, including an elderly, saintly Italian neighbor of ours. He became the first priest to bear the wounds of Christ stigmata in 1918. His life was one of austerity and suffering till he died in 1968. (Grade 4+, 112 pages, 4 ½” x 7”, PB, $)

 

Blessed Teresa of Calcutta: Missionary of Charity
By Mary Glavich, SND

The name Mother Teresa of Calcutta is known to all of us… get to know her life story! She followed her first calling to become a nun and her second calling to serve “the poorest of the poor”. Since 1950, when she began the Missionaries of Charity, her work knew no boundaries… the poor are “… Christ in distressing disguise.” She died in 1997 and was beatified in 2003. (Grade 4+, 132 pages, 4 ½” x 7”, PB, $)

Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati: Journey to the Summit
By Ana Maria Vazquez and Jennings Dean
Pier Giorgio Frassati, beatified by Pope John Paul II in 1990, lived only twenty-four years. But in that short time, he lived his life to the fullest. His student escapades, his athletic achievements, and his dedication to helping the poor all combined to make this amazing young man an “avalanche of life.” (Grade 4+, 142 pages, 4 ½” x 7”, PB, $)

Paola’s Book Bites: Heroes and Saints

Book of Heroes
By Amy Welborn
Publisher: Loyola University Press

What a breath of fresh air to read a book written for children about real HEROES.

Amy Welborn has an incredible gift of relating deep truths to children in an easy manner. Her description of “What a hero is” alone is worth getting this treasure of a book. By using the spiritual and moral virtues as a guide towards introducing REAL Heroes (Saints and Blesseds) she incorporates opportunities for the child to really think about their own relationship with God.

Meet well known, lesser known, modern, and ancient saints in stories that describe the saints lives and how they loved God above all, how God was the center of their lives and in ways that our children can find true heroes to imitate!!! This is a real find and one you will go to over and over again. This book would also work well with the PACE program in bringing home virtue to a child’s life. Great to read aloud. (Ages 8+, 175 pages, HC, $$)

Book of Saints
By Amy Welborn
Publisher: Loyola University Press

Perhaps you have read her Prove-it series, which is amazing see my review here! Well, she has done it again—this time for a younger set.

This gifted author has written a great compilation of the saints accessible for our children and it is truly inspiring. Who are the saints, why are they important, and what can today’s children learn from them? In Book of Saints, author Amy Welborn answers these questions with exciting and inspiring stories, real-life applications, and important information about these heroes of the Church.

This delightful collection of saints’ lives, written in a storybook style for children eight to twelve, explains how saints become saints, why we honor them, and how they help us even today. Divided thematically, the book features more than sixty saints from all over the world and from all across time, including our newest saints, such as Katharine Drexel; popular saints, such as St. Anthony of Padua; and Blesseds, such as Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha. Each story tells about a saint and encourages readers to consider how they might apply what they learn from the story to their everyday lives. (Ages 8+, 304 pages, HC, $$)

St. Andrew Christmas Novena Holy Card

St. Andrew Christmas Novena Holy Card

We’d like to offer you this St. Andrew Christmas Novena holy card, at no charge, as a token of our appreciation for you to help get ready for our Lord’s birth as we enter the season of St. Andrew novenaAdvent! This two-sided holy card features classical artwork on the front side and the Christmas Anticipation Prayer on the reverse.  Just save,  print and pray!

… And have a blessed Advent this year!

Christmas Anticipation Prayer, also known as the St. Andrew Christmas prayer starts November 30, the feast of St. Andrew and continues through Christmas Eve, December 24th!

This meditative prayer is traditionally said 15 times each day to help us reflect on the TRUE meaning of Christmas, the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ!

 Click on the picture….to get your free download!


Why talk of such sadness? The Feast of All Souls

This past year we attended quite a few funerals…..more than I can ever remember…in part  I suppose it was due to our “getting on in years”….Larry and I are now in our late 50’s…..in part though, it was because some very dear ones died way too soon.  Remembering that we belong to this very huge family of God comforts, heals and has sanctified our lives.  We pray every day for those souls and their families, we ask them to intercede for us and we have hope that perhaps some day we may all be united in the Beatific Vision.

Why talk of such sadness?…well call me crazy but I think it is not sad talk. As a Catholic I have come to understand suffering and death in its proper perspective.

November is the month dedicated to the Holy Souls in Purgatory, where we are asked by Holy Mother Church to remember all those who have died. We are asked to remember those poor souls in prayer in hope that they will rejoice in the glory of God.  We rejoice with the saints who the Church tells us have arrived at His heavenly kingdom and bask in His Glory. In fact the month is ushered in with All Saints Day, which we just celebrated yesterday.

After watching the movie Love is a Choice, the story of St. Gianna Molla, we were all moved deeply by the testimony of her husband, Pietro, who told the story of their son, only five at the time, who had seen his father crying several days after his wife’s funeral. He asked his father why he was crying.  Pietro told his son that he missed his wife so very much.  His son’s answer to this was simple and beautiful, “But Papa she is in heaven now.”

Our former pastor had once told us in a All Souls Mass homily, that his mom would call him about this time every year, to remind him to add the names of family members who died over the past year onto “the list”.  You see he keeps a list of everyone ( and I mean everyone) in his family who has died as a reminder to pray for them and remember them….much like many of our ancestors who would light a blessed candle on the Feast of All Souls, one  for each family member who died that year.   Father’s “list” is a visible sign to him and to us that there is hope, peace, an eternal reward and that we are called to remember and pray.

Several years ago at the Mass for All Souls Larry and I were asked to hold up crosses with a name of a parishioner who had died that year but had no family member present at Mass. We carried them to the altar, taking our turn as  their names were called during the Mass.  We were most grateful and honored to do so,  after all we really are family, members of a much bigger family than those who reside in our home. We are members of the family of God. We belong to Christ Jesus, who laid down his innocent life so that we can have the hope in an eternity with God. That’s really something to rejoice in.

A blessed All Souls’s Day….there is family waiting for your prayers!

“If we knew what may be obtained from God by the intercession of the Poor Souls, they would not be so much abandoned. Let us pray a great deal for them; they will pray for us.” –St. John Vianney