Books for you and your students
By Carolyn Astfalk
Between the (book) covers: fiction and nonfiction for all ages.
Fun with fiction
Avoid a mid-year slump with titles to edify and entertain. The first book in the Saint Michael the Archangel Academy series, Saving Mount Rushmore by Andrea Jo Rodgers (Anaiah Press), takes children on a mission to prevent teen vandals from defacing Mount Rushmore.
Bullying is addressed in a fable by Marie Unanue: The Adventures of Phatty & Payaso: Central Park (iUniverse), a chapter book that follows a fat, frightened cat and his feline and canine friends determined to stop a thieving hawk in Central Park. Cartoon-like antics ensue.
In Once Upon a Princess by Christine Marciniak (CBAY Books, grade 3+), a European princess is ousted by a coup and ends up in an American middle school. The flawed Fritzi faces opposition in both her kingdom and the classroom.
For teen readers, Catholic Teen Books has released an anthology of seven short stories called Secrets: Visible & Invisible. Genres include historical, mystery, contemporary, and dystopian, and many of the stand-alone stories feature characters from the authors’ full-length novels. Visit CatholicTeenBooks.com.
Students of all ages (and teachers) will marvel at the creativity on every page of The Other Side of Christmas: An Upside-Down Book by Beth Gully (BTG Publishing). Read the contemporary story of Christmas, then flip it upside down to find the biblical message of the holiday.
Life of Jesus
Attractive new books from Magnificat-Ignatius Press present the life of Jesus for children. Jesus Stories from the Bible by Charlotte Grossetête is an illustrated, padded hardcover book for children in kindergarten and up. It includes Jesus’ birth, death, ministry, teaching in the temple, and calling of the disciples.
For children in second grade and up, Who Is Jesus: His Life, His Land, His Time by Gaelle Tertrais places Jesus’ life in historical and geographical context with maps, illustrations, and “Did You Know?” facts.
Miraculous story retold
Staircase for the Sisters by Pamela Love (Pauline Books and Media) is an easy read for children in grade two and up. This adaptation of the true story of the mysterious creation of the staircase in the Santa Fe chapel of the Sisters of Loretto also includes a simple novena to St. Joseph.
Makerspaces in School (Prufrock Press) provides teachers with a month-by-month plan for creating a unique makerspace in a classroom or school. With graphics and planning pages, teachers create project-based learning opportunities that prime students for STEAM applications.
Prayer life for teachers
Reenergize and inspire deeper and more profound prayer for you and for those you teach with Abiding in Prayer (Pflaum Publishing Group). This book covers forms of prayer, how we model prayer for our students, and more.
Carolyn Astfalk is a contemporary Catholic novelist, blogger, CatholicMom.com contributor, and mother of four Catholic-school students ranging from kindergarten to high school.
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