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 Header - Family Tip 8 - Power of a good book

"Children have not been given to parents as a present, which they may dispose of as they please,
but as a trust, for which, if lost through their negligence, they must render an account to God.”

~ Saint Alphonsus de Liguori

 

The Power of a Good Book

All the buzz and commotion of technology seeks to stifle its ancient predecessor: the book. The empty chair in the library is producing increasingly more empty minds and the world is not a better place for it.

It is imperative for parents to fight the gadget “culture” and provide ways for their children to read real books rather than iPhones. Please find below some benefits, book suggestions and practical tips.

 

Benefits:

1)   Bonding time:  Reading to your child makes you bond with him, and this gives your child a sense of intimacy and well-being. Added bonus: Reading will bring calm to both you and your child!

2)   Recipe for success:  Many studies show that students who love learning and do well in school were exposed to reading before preschool.

3)   Makes them smarter:  A study published in Perspectives on Psychological Science in January 2013 concluded that “reading to a child in an interactive style raises his or her IQ by over 6 points.”

4)   Parents Rule:  You have better control over what they are reading. With electronic devices your supervision is greatly reduced and often nonexistent.

5)   Spell it out:  Perhaps the best strategy for improving spelling is to encourage a student to read more. Simply having the words in front of them, absorbed as a story is unfolding from the pages, will instill an instinct in them that is bound to improve spelling, as well as increase vocabulary.

 

Book Suggestions:

 

Children 0-6 (being read to)

  • Power of a good book - image 1Andy and the Lion, by James Daugherty
  • Angel Food for Boys and Girls, by Fr. Gerald T. Brennen
  • Beatrix Potter’s books
  • Catholic Children’s Treasure Box
  • Fairy Tales by Hans Christian Anderson (Grimm’s not recommended)
  • Fairy Tales of Oscar Wilde: The Happy Prince, by Oscar Wilde & P. Craig Russell
  • Fritz and the Beautiful Horses, by Jan Brett
  • Going His Way, Fr. Gerald T. Brennen
  • Is Your Mama a Llama? By Deborah Guarino
  • Jacinta’s Story, by Andrea Phillips
  • Pelusa: A Marvelous Tale, by Fr. Louis Coloma and Andrea Phillips
  • Room for a Little One: A Christmas Tale, by Martin Waddell
  • St. Jerome and the Lion, Retold by Margaret Hodges
  • The Clown of God, by Tomie de Paola
  • The Donkey’s Dream, by Barbara Helen Berger
  • The Man Who Forgot God, by Fr. Gerald T. Brennen; click here for your free download!
  • The Mitten, by Jan Brett
  • The Swamp King's Daughter - Creative Character Building Series (Study Key Included), by H. C. Anderson
  • Winnie the Pooh, by A.A. Milne (the original; no phony rip-offs!)

 

Children 7-12

  • The following titles can be found at www.ANF.org/Table/Christian-Life/Family-Series/:
    --The Wreath of the Queen; The Weight of the Holy Cross; The Deer Hunter; The Three Pearls ; The Little Juggler of Our Lady; A Dog Named Grigio; The Little Barrel; and many others.
  • A Bear Called Paddington, by Michael BondPower of a good book - image 2
  • Billy and Blaze series, by C.W. Anderson
  • Father Francis Finn, books written by. Here are just a few titles to get you started:
    --Tom Playfair; Percy Wynn; Harry Dee; Lord Bountiful and The Fairy of the Snows
  • Five Little Peppers and How They Grew, by Margaret Sidney
  • Heidi, by Johanna Spyri
  • Lassie Come Home, by Eric Knight
  • Mr. Popper's Penguins, by Richard Atwater
  • St. George and the Dragon, retold by Margaret Hodges
  • The Adventures of TinTin series, by Herge’
  • The Boxcar Children, by Gertrude Chandler Warner
  • The Hidden Treasure of Glastonbury, The Autobiography of a Hunted Priest, by Father John Gerard
  • The Little House on the Prairie Series, by Laura Ingles Wilder
  • The Magic Tree House Series, by Mary Pope Osborne
  • The Milly-Molly-Mandy Storybook, by Joyce Lankester Brisley
  • The Weight of a Mass, by Josephine Nabisso
  • The Wind in the Willows, by Kenneth Grahame
  • The Wonder Clock, by Howard Pyle

 

Children 13-18+

  • An American Knight, by Norman Fulkerson
  • Captain’s Courageous, by Rudyard Kipling
  • Cheaper by the Dozen, by Gilbreth, Frank B. Jr. and ErnestinePower of a good book - image 3
  • Chivalry, by Leon Goutier
  • Damien of Molokai, by May Quinlan
  • Fabiola, by Cardinal Wiseman
  • Men of Iron, by Howard Pyle
  • Our Lady of Fatima, by William Thomas Walsh
  • Pilgrimage & Exile: Mother Marianne of Molokai, by Sister Mary Laurence Hanley, O.S.F.
  • Plinio, by Andrea F. Phillips
  • Priest on Horseback, by Eva K. Betz
  • St. Patrick’s Summer, by Marigold Hunt
  • Sun Slower, Sun Faster, by Meriol Trevor (all of her books are recommended)
  • Story of a Soul, by St. Terese of Lisieux
  • The Great Seige of Malta, by Ernle Bradford
  • The Last Crusader, by William Thomas Walsh (any book by William Thomas Walsh is recommended)
  • The Life of the Very Noble King of Castile and León, Saint Ferdinand III, by Sr. Maria del Carmen Fernández de Castro Cabeza, A.C.J
  • The Mysterious Benedict Society, by Trenton Lee Stewart
  • The Outlaws of Ravenhurst, by Sr. Imelda Wallace, S.L.
  • The Story of Rolph and the Viking Bow, by Allen French (any of Allen French’s books are recommended)
  • The Swiss Family Robinson, by Johann Wyss
  • The Tale of Despereaux, by Kate DiCamillo
  • To Quell the Terror: The Mystery of the Vocation of the Sixteen Carmelites of Compiegne Guillotined July 17, 1794 by William Bush
  • Treasure Island, by Robert Louis Stevenson (anything written by this author is recommended)
  • Tyborne and the Gem of Christendom, by Mother Mary Magdalen Taylor

Bookshelf


Practical Tips:*

1)  Install a book shelf in a well-frequented place in the home.

2)  Fill the book shelf with a large variety of good books that the children will be attracted to (refer to list above).

3)  Install a bulletin board in your home, print out good stories (see examples above to be found at ANF.ORG) and pin them to the board. Your children may surprise you and end up taking one to their room to read!

4)  Begin a “Family Book Club” where you meet once every month and share what you have read. Include food at your “club meetings” to encourage participation and make it fun—not just another family chore! 

 

As Catholics, we are the “light of the world.” (Matt 5:14) Let’s illuminate the minds of the young through what has always worked in the past: The Power of a Good Book.

 


*It is not necessary for you to employ all of these tips; simply try one and see how it works!

 

 

 

Quote of the day

DAILY QUOTE for January 18, 2021

To live without faith, without a patrimony to defend, withou...

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January 18

 

To live without faith,
without a patrimony to defend,
without a steady struggle for truth,
that is not living, but existing.

Bl. Pier Giorgio Frassatti


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Saint of the day

SAINT OF THE DAY

St. Prisca

A great eagle appeared above her and protected her body for...

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St. Prisca

There are actually three St. Priscilla’s who lived in the first few centuries of the Church – all of whom were martyrs – and two of them share the same feast day of January 18! It is the virgin martyr St. Prisca that the Church primarily celebrates today though.

Prisca was born of a noble family in Rome during the reign of Claudius II. Most likely a Christian from birth, she was arrested during the persecutions when she was a young teenager and brought before the Emperor for questioning. Despite her youth, Prisca courageously proclaimed and upheld her Catholic Faith, even though she knew that by doing so in those days was ultimately the pronouncement of her own death sentence.

She suffered terrible tortures, one of which was being taken to the arena to be devoured by wild beasts. Rather than devour her though, the lions are said to have licked her feet! Finally, she was taken outside the city walls and beheaded. Legend tells us that when she was martyred, a great eagle appeared above her and protected her body for several days until the Christians were able to retrieve it.

The young martyr was buried in the Catacomb of St. Priscilla - the catacomb named after the St. Priscilla, wife of a Roman senator, who shares the same feast day of January 18 with the child-martyr, Prisca. She is said to have opened her home near the catacomb to Christians and to have befriended St. Peter who used her home as his headquarters in Rome. She was martyred during the reign of Emperor Domitian. As an interesting fact, there is probable speculation that this St. Priscilla was a family relation of the child-martyr St. Prisca, who is buried in her catacomb.

The third  St. Priscilla was a disciple of St. Paul and wife of the Jewish tentmaker, Aquila.

St. Margaret of Hungary

She would have no other bridegroom than Jesus Christ,  and...

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St. Margaret of Hungary

Margaret of Hungary was the daughter of King Bela IV, a champion of Christendom, and Maria Laskarina, a pious Byzantine princess. Bella IV being the brother of St. Elizabeth of Hungary, Margaret was the saintly Queen of Hungary’s blood niece.

King Bela and his queen, worried about an impeding Tartar invasion, vowed to dedicate to God the child they were expecting. Bela was victorious over the Tartars, and little Margaret was taken to the Dominican monastery at Vezprem at the age of three.

The child thrived in her new surroundings. By age four she had memorized the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary. At age ten she was moved to a convent built for her by her father on an island – today named Margaret Island – on the Danube near Buda and there she professed her vows at age twelve.

King Ottokar II of Bohemia having seen Margaret at eighteen years of age, ignoring her religious habit, sought her in marriage. A dispensation would have been possible in this case, and King Bela seemed to favor the prospect for political reasons. Yet, Margaret adamantly refused declaring she would have no other bridegroom than Jesus Christ, and would rather cut off her nose and lips.

Margaret’s was a life of astounding penance, prayer and charity toward the poor. To avoid preferential treatment in the convent because of her royal rank, she sought the most menial tasks to the point that a maid once said that she was humbler than a servant.
Her body worn out by the fatigue of long hours of labor, fasting and prayer, Margaret died at the age of twenty-eight on January 18, 1270. The virtuous princess was universally venerated as a saint from the time of her death.

Weekly Story

WEEKLY STORY

One night, the Blessed Virgin appeared to him and told him h...

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Mary and the Muslim

Don Octavio del Monaco was a wealthy citizen of 17th century Naples. Like many of his class, Don Octavius had several Muslim slaves in his household. These children of Islam were amazed at the kindness of their “master.” He fed and clothed them better than they received in their native land. In return, his slaves attended to their tasks with diligence, as Don Octavius did not over work them, but assigned them duties in keeping with their dignity as children of God.

If these Muslim slaves had any reason for complaint, it was the gentle persistence with which their master and his wife exhorted them to give up their false religion and become Catholics. Don Octavius even went so far as to invite the slaves to join his family in the chapel to worship the one true God with them!

Our story today is about one young slave in particular. His name was Abel, like the slain son of Adam and Eve. He felt drawn in a peculiar way to a lamp that burned in front of a shrine to Holy Mary. Abel would purchase the oil needed to keep the lamp lit from his own meager stipend. As he continued to practice this humble devotion, he would say, “I hope that this Lady will grant me some great favor.”

One night, the Blessed Virgin appeared to him and told him he must become a Christian. At first the Turk resisted. But she placed her hand upon his shoulder, and said to him: “Now no longer resist, Abel, but be baptized and called Joseph,” conferring on him a name that was very dear to her Immaculate Heart indeed.

On August the 10th, 1648, there was much rejoicing in Heaven, for on that day “Joseph” and eleven other Muslims converted to the Christian faith and were baptized. Their conversion was brought about by the kindness shown by Don Octavius and the special intercession of the Mother of God.

Our story does not end here. Even once this son of hers was safely baptized, Mother Mary delighted in visiting him. Once, after having appeared to him, she was about to depart. But the Moor seized her mantle, saying, “Oh, Lady, when I find myself afflicted, I pray you to let me see you.” In fact, she one day promised him this and when Joseph found himself afflicted he invoked her, and Mary appeared to him again saying, “Have patience", and he was consoled.

From the Glories of Mary, by St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori.

One night, the Blessed Virgin appeared to him and told him he must become a Christian.

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