CatholicMom.com fame has written two new books for children, the start of the Chime Travelers Series. Published by Servant Books (Franciscan Media), they are aimed at children age 7 - 12. If you don't have any children in that age range, you might want to consider buying a copy for your parish library, or local Catholic elementary school.
When the bells chime, get ready for fun and adventure as you join Katie and Patrick on their travels back in time to far-distant lands. The mysterious strangers they meet along the way turn out to be saints of old who become close friends and help our young travelers understand their faith a little better. Are you ready for the trip of a lifetime? Be ready when you hear the bells chime.
I read these books this weekend and both were delightful - teaching the faith by reaching kids where they are on their faith journey, maintaining a sense of humor, and providing an introduction to the lives of saints. Each book also includes a short biography about the featured saint and discussion questions.
Book 1: The Secret of the Shamrock
When Patrick's mom volunteers him for the cleaning crew at his local Church, he is less than thrilled. He'd much rather be hanging out with his friends or playing with his frog, Francis. But when the bells chime and he ends up in ancient Ireland, he has to trust a shepherd to help him to find his way home.
This story teaches lessons on kindness and the value of prayer, trust in God, and the sacrament of confession, as well as introduces children to the life of St. Patrick.
Book 2: The Sign of the Carved Cross
Katie is feeling jealous and insecure and so she joins her friends in being mean to the new girl, Lily. But then she finds herself back in 1675 in a Native American village,. Now Katie is the new girl, but Tekakwitha, a young woman with horrible scars on her face, is kind to her and keeps her safe. Tekakwitha is treated poorly by her family due to her Christian faith and she and Katie are forced to run away in the middle of the night.
This story examines how hard female relationships can be for young girls and the importance of being a friend. It also teaches the value of Baptism and 1st Communion as well as introduces children to St. Kateri Tekakwitha.