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Sunday, July 9, 2017

Religious Chapter Books

Disclosure: I was sent these books free of charge in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Hazel loves to read!! At times I cannot get her nose out of a book. She is into mysteries right now, but we have been really enjoying some Christian themed chapter books. Today we are going to share some of them with you. We shared the first book in the Chime Travelers Series with you previously. It is written by Lisa M. Hendey and illustrated by Jenn Bower. Today we will share the other four books in the series. This fun series is about twins who somehow are able to travel through time to meet and learn from various saints. They know it has something to do with the bells at their church, but cannot figure out how to make it happen or how to travel together. 




In the first book Patrick got to visit St. Patrick. In the second book, The Sign of the Carved Cross, Katie goes on her first chime travel. She travels to a Native American village in 1675. There she meets Tekakwitha who becomes St. Kateri. During her visit with Tekakwitha she learns the importance of being welcoming and kind to new people and learns that she needs to welcome the new girl in her class instead of treating her like she and her friends have been. I love the lessons that the saints are able to teach the kids in these books!!
In the third book, The Whisper in the Ruins, Patrick is traveling again. This time he chime travels to Assisi, Italy in 1205 where he meets Francis of Assisi. He gets to witness Francis denying his father and his wealth. He also gets to help rebuild a chapel at San Damiano. During his time with St. Francis Patrick learns about helping others especially people who are angry and hurt. He also learns that rebuilding the church does not just mean the building itself, but rather the church family. Patrick brings these lessons home to help a boy and his family who are going through a very rough time. 



In the fourth book, The Mystery at Midnight, it is Katie's turn again. She chime travels to Assisi as well. There she meets Clare. Clare gives up her easy life of wealth to dedicate her life to Jesus. She wants to be part of Francis's followers and begins a group of women who serve God through poverty and prayer. Clare loved prayer and often spent the day in silence. In this story the lesson is about not wanting material things for oneself but helping others with your talents and gifts. After learning this lesson Katie and Patrick change their plans for their birthday party and end up celebrating with friends as well as children in need and asking for donations instead of gifts. What a great lesson!
The fifth book is a special one. It takes place at Christmas time and Katie and Patrick finally chime travel together. In The Stranger at the Manger, Katie and Patrick travel to Bethlehem and witness the first Christmas. They got to witness the shepherds and wise men visiting Baby Jesus. They even got to help with his care. They went to the temple with Mary and Joseph to present Jesus for the first time. Can you imagine living through it? The lesson they learn is about welcoming strangers even at a busy time in life. They saw how welcoming people were to Mary and Joseph from the innkeeper to the shepherds and more. They take the lesson home and welcome a Hispanic family and get their parents to have this new refugee family join them for part of their Christmas celebration.

I love how these books give information about the various saints' lives as well as lessons from their lives that the kids can apply to their lives. They are such wonderful stories with a bit of mystery as well as suspense. These are books that any Christian child will enjoy. They are Catholic, but the stories are about religious figures and the lessons are great for any child. I hope you will take time to check them out!



Our final book today is Hello Stars by Alena Pitts with Wynter Pitts. This is the first book in the Faith Girlz Series and we cannot wait for there to be more books in this series!! Lena is an ordinary fifth grader. She enjoys spending time with her best friends as well as her family. Her family (three sisters, her parents and her dog) are religious. They prayer together before leaving the house each morning. Lena and her friends love Mallory Winston. When she announces that she is going to be in a movie and is having a contest to find a co-star, Lena enters and is excited, scared and surprised when she is selected. She never wanted to be an actress, but she cannot wait to meet Mallory. Now her entire summer will be spent in a strange home without her friends. She will be working on the film for all of her summer vacation and her entire family will have to pick up and live in California for the summer. How will this change her life and her? How will she get through it? Luckily her life is full of people who look to God and the Bible for guidance and continue to give her the same advice. 

We love how this book deals with challenges that many middle grade and middle school kids have in a very different situation. We also love how the solution is to look to God. Throughout the book there are scriptures as well as prayers and focus on God. Even the movie she is making is a religious one about turning to God in tough times. The book is well written and makes the reader want to keep reading. Hazel often asked for me to read more or just to read this book. She loved it! The story is interesting and fun. Although Lena is dealing with life in Hollywood, there are many things that apply to a kid's life in an every day setting. The characters are so well developed and the reader feels like she/he knows them and how they will react at different times. This is a must read for any child trying to figure out life. 

The chapters usually end with Lena writing her her journal either as a prayer or to the stars.  At one point Lena writes the word Awesome in block letters and colors them in before writing in her journal, so I made a coloring page for Hazel to color in.


Mallory also quotes the Bible and tells Lena to always remember this scripture from Colossians 3:23. I decided to make some printables of it because it is great advice for every day!



I chose different backgrounds, fonts and embellishments and let Hazel pick her favorite. I am going to frame it for her. This is her favorite:

You can get all the printables (all four versions as well as the Awesome coloring page) here

So if you would like to add some spiritual lessons to your child's reading in a very fun way, be sure to check out these amazing Christian books! I know we love them!!