Alicia Van Hecke

Our Sunday Visitor's 2008 Catholic Almanac

Author(s): 
Matthew Bunson, general editor

This is a fantastic reference book for a wide variety of reasons - especially for those who don't have Internet access or who don't want their children to do searches on the Internet.

Our Sunday Visitor has been publishing an annual Catholic Almanac for over one hundred years. Teachers, educators, parents and many others will find a great deal of useful and well-organized information at their finger-tips.

The text is divided into four main sections with numerous sub categories beneath each one. Here's a quick overview:

Peter: Keeper of the Keys

Cover: 'Peter: Keeper of the Keys'
Author(s): 
Steve Ray

This is a fascinating travel/apologetics documentary focusing on the story of Saint Peter as related in the New Testament. Apologist Steve Ray travels to Rome and many sites in the Holy Land to tell Peter's story. He provides fascinating details of the connections between particular places and important events in Peter's life.

Philomena

Author(s): 
Kate Seredy
Illustrator(s): 
Kate Seredy

We discovered this little gem years ago, after falling in love with two of the authors' other books: The Good Master and The Singing Tree. I was thrilled to recently discover that Bethlehem Books is bringing it back into print.

The story begins in a small village near Prague. In this village, young girls are expected to leave home and work as servants in the big city during their early teen years; returning home at the age of sixteen, with experience in all manner of household service and ready to start their own families.

Reading the Saints

Author(s): 
Janet McKenzie

This is an interesting and helpful book of lists designed for parents and teachers interested in collecting Catholic stories (particularly saint stories) for their children and incorporating them into their school studies.

The first part of the book consists of listings of Catholic book series (both in and out of print), including titles with Catholic content that have been awarded the Caldecott Award and the Newbery Award, Catholic Readers, the Clarion Series, the Vision Series, American Background Books, Catholic Treasury Books and much more.

Common Ground

This DVD presents an engaging dialogue (Question and Answer format) between a Catholic priest and a Protestant minister. Produced by a Protestant Church, it primarily consists of common Protestant Questions/Objections about the Catholic Faith that are answered by the priest.

Behind Enemy Lines

Author(s): 
H. R. DeMallie

This is a fascinating personal account of a U.S. Air Force pilot who was shot down over Holland and spent the rest of World War II in a POW camp in Germany. He wrote it specifically to honor the Dutch who took care of him at great peril to their own lives.

It was a particularly interesting read after being acquainted with Hilda Van Stockum's The Winged Watchman as locations and situations are very similar.

A Picture Perfect Childhood

A Picture Perfect Childhood
Author(s): 
Cay Gibson

There are only a few books that I know I'll love even before I see them - and this was definitely one. Picture book afficionado Cay Gibson serves up a delicious array of picture books of all sorts to discover and savor for yourself from your local library (and hopefully start a collection of your own as well).

Q&A for Lent and Easter

Author(s): 
Theresa K. Driscoll
Kelley L. Renz

This is a rather unique resource for Lent. It's a quiz book written at three levels of difficulty with all sorts of questions and answers about the Catholic Church's celebration of Lent and Easter. It primarily focuses on Church liturgy, with a very significant focus on the process of Christian initiation, culminating with the Sacraments of Initiation at the Easter Vigil.

Saints of Asia

Author(s): 
Vincent J. O'Malley, C.M.

How many Asian saints can you name? Saint Andrew Kim? Saint Paul Miki? Not bad.

We don't tend to learn much about Asian history today, much less about Catholic history in Asia. Did you know that the Catholic faith survived in India from the time of St. Thomas the Apostle? A number of saints in this collection were descended from families who were catechized by St. Thomas!

Daily Lesson Plans: Preschool-Kindergarten

This one package offers lesson plans for both preschool and kindergarten.

Preschool segment: (124 pages)

Rather than traditional lesson plans, which would be too confining for such young children, CHC offers an "activity calendar and record book" along with weekly activity suggestions and a monthly theme page that offers simple suggestions for liturgical year activities, art and craft ideas related to special days and more.

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