Elizabeth Yank

Crusader King, A Novel of Baldwin IV and the Crusades

Author(s): 
Susan Peek

In 1174 at only 13 years of age, Baldwin IV ascended to the Throne of Jerusalem. What makes his story so unusual, however, is not so much his age, but his extraordinary accomplishments while experiencing incredible hardship. In Crusader King, we soon discover that being a member of a royal family is not all glamour and glory. It is also a responsibility and at times a heavy burden. Rather than focus on Baldwin’s outstanding military career, Susan Peek brings to life the qualities of his noble character in the midst of a corrupt court.

Word to Caesar

Author(s): 
Geoffrey Trease

Set during Imperial Rome, Paul, a young boy, flees for his life when barbarians raid the Roman camp his father commands in Northern England. Wounded, exhausted, and orphaned, he barely makes it on the last boat leaving a nearby harbor. With the help of Lucius Fabius Severus, a Roman exile, he begins a new life. Out of gratitude for Severus helping save his life, Paul wants to reinstate Severus’ good name. But he must travel the length of the Roman Empire to do so, escape the clutches of wily villains, and speak with the Emperor Hadrian.

Alvin's Secret Code

Author(s): 
Clifford B. Hicks

Alvin’s Secret Code is another Bethlehem Books winner. I confess; I polished it off in one day (It helps if you are stuck in an airport for a 2 ½ hour layover without any interruptions). My 8-year-old, Kateri, also polished it off in record time. She was so completely absorbed in it that she read it in two afternoons.
In this fun, mystery story, Alvin, his best friend Shoie, and Alvin’s younger sister combine their talents to unlock a secret message to buried treasure.

The Blue Knights Boys Club

Author(s): 
Dan McGuire

General Overview...

The Blue Knights Boys Club is “a catechetical program” for young boys modeled after the Little Flowers program by Rachel Watkins. The age group that is targeted is 4-7, but it could be used for older boys up to age 12. The goal of the Blue Knights program is to develop in the boys a devotion to St. Joseph, using the theme of Knighthood based on virtues. This program “seeks to lay a foundation of virtue on which subsequent stages of catechesis can build.”

The Catholic Homeschool Companion

Book cover: 'The Catholic Homeschool Companion'
Author(s): 
Maureen Wittmann
Rachel Mackson

Since I have been homeschooling since the Paleozoic era of the 1980's, there are times when I feel like I've heard it all before. Not with the Catholic Homeschool Companion. Almost every article offered me a fresh perspective, reaffirmed a belief I already had, inspired me with encouragement, or taught me something new.

The Squire and the Scroll

Author(s): 
Jennie Bishop

With colorful, dramatic illustrations and a story to inspire children, The Squire and the Scroll is sure to be a favorite. Written as a parable set in an imaginary kingodm, a wicked dragon has stolen the Lantern of Purest Light. This is not just any ordinary light, but a "Lantern that gave freedom to all the kingdom." Who will be brave enough to bring back this precious Lantern?

The Princess and the Kiss

Book cover: 'The Princess and the Kiss'
Author(s): 
Jennie Bishop

"Long ago, in a wonderful castle on a mountain of splendor, a beautiful princess was born." So begins the story of The Princess and the Kiss, a tale of a young woman's - in this case princess's - first kiss. On the day she is born, her parents present her with this special gift from God. In a secret room in a castle tower, it is kept safely hidden away under glass. When she is old enough, her parents explain the treasured value of this precious gift and warn her to not give it to just anybody.

Daddy's Lullaby

Book cover: 'Daddy's Lullaby'
Author(s): 
Tony Bradman
Illustrator(s): 
Jason Cockcroft

Daddy's Lullaby by Tony Bradman, beautifully illustrated by Jason Cockcroft, is a children's storybook about a young dad who comes home late at night to find the baby wide awake in his crib. In his efforts to soothe the baby back to sleep, dad cuddles him in his arms and tours the house with the baby to see all the other sleeping members of the family.

The Shadow of the Bear

Book cover: 'The Shadow of the Bear: Snow White and Rose Red Retold'
Author(s): 
Regina Doman

This book was originally published in hardcover as Snow White and Rose Red: A Modern Fairy Tale. The original edition is out of print.

Among homeschool teenage girls who read this book, there is an interesting phenomenon occurring. They read this book, not once, not twice, but numerous times. In fact, my daughter's friend has lost track of how many times she has read it. Intrigued by this phenomenon, I was curious to read this book.

26 Fairmount Avenue

Book cover: '26 Fairmount Avenue'
Author(s): 
Tomie de Paola

With 26 Fairmount Avenue, Tomie dePaola has written an account of when he was four and five years old and awaiting the building of his new home on Fairmount Ave. The story opens in 1938 with a huge hurricane blowing into town, upsetting life as well as trees. Mama calms everyone's fears by sprinkling the neighbors and the children with holy water. (Direct Catholic references are few, but nice to see.)

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