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Books and resources for you and your students: from our Fall 2019 issue.

By Carolyn Astfalk

Saint Stories

Liguori Publications continues to add to its Saints and Me! series with Saints for Sacraments. Recent additions include John Vianney: Saint for Holy Orders, Padre Pio: Saint for Reconciliation, Teresa of Ávila: Saint for the Eucharist, and Louis and Zélie Martin: Saints for Matrimony. Each of these early-reader books focuses on a specific virtue and includes bright illustrations and a glossary. Related activity books are also available.

Modern saints are given poetic treatment in Saintly Rhymes for Modern Times, written and illustrated by Meghan Bausch. St. Faustina, St. Josephine Bakhita, and more are the subjects of short, rhyming biographies with complementary illustrations that bring the saint to life. Perfect for a classroom read-aloud. Available from Our Sunday Visitor.

Making Mass Meaningful

Pauline Books and Media has revised its popular The Mass Explained for Kids, adding a diagram of church layout and explanations of sacred vessels. The softcover booklet, ideal for grades two through five, takes students through the Mass, prayer by prayer, offering explanation and detail.

Spurring Creativity

In Developing Creativity in the Classroom: Learning and Innovation for 21st-Century Schools, authors Todd Kettler, Kristen N. Lamb, and Dianna R. Mullet apply current theory and research on creativity to explain and model how creative thinking and supportive learning environments help students meet the demands of modern innovation-driven careers. Available from Prufrock Press.

Embracing the Mess

With specific tools and suggestions, A Meaningful Mess: A Teacher’s Guide to Student-Driven Classrooms, Authentic Learning, Student Empowerment, and Keeping It All Together … Without Losing Your Mind by Andi McNair seeks to help teachers engage students in relevant, meaningful ways that may differ from less flexible, highly structured approaches to which teachers may be accustomed. Available from Prufrock Press.

Help Hurting Teens

Catholic author, speaker, and psychotherapist Roy Petitfils shares his knowledge and experience to help those who work with teens recognize signs of distress and whether and how to step in. In Helping Teens with Stress, Anxiety, and Depression: A Field Guide for Catholic Parents, Pastors, and Youth Leaders, the author covers sources of stress and anxiety, differentiating healthy and toxic stress, assessing a hurting kid, and the art of listening. Available from Ave Maria Press.

Blessed Backpacks

Begin the school year with a special blessing! In the Backpack Blessings Kit, you’ll receive luggage tags, tear-off notes for parents to send with their children throughout the year, and instructions for a 10-minute prayer service at school. Available from Creative Communications for the Parish.

Carolyn Astfalk is a contemporary Catholic novelist, blogger, CatholicMom.com contributor, and mother of four Catholic-school students ranging from first grade to high school.


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