As my fourth-grader becomes more advanced in reading, we've struggled with finding appropriate stories for her to read. Finding compelling stories that aren't about monsters, vampires or other scary topics or themes hasn't been an easy task. I have an impressionable girl, and one that's tender at heart. I'd like to preserve that as long as I can, and even in a Christian school, it's tough to find good books in the school library that she can read.
But I've been pleasantly surprised with the discovery of a new author and Nancy Carabio Belanger's Olivia books.
Olivia and the Little Way
tells the story of a fifth-grade girl who moves to a new state. As a way with dealing with the nerves of starting a new school, her grandmother gives her a St. Thérèse chaplet and tells her about "The Little Way," that St. Thérèse believed that "you can show your love for God by doing little things for Him with great love."
Olivia learns how to love others through the Little Way, whether it's dealing with mean kids or other grade-school concerns, but she learns that the Little Way is not always easy.
Her grandmother tells her, "You cannot expect to follow the Little Way without some hardship along the way. It is a work in progress. Do not get discouraged...God does not expect perfection; He only wants you to try your best every day." Great advice, not only for Olivia, but for all of us.
I had received this book for a review copy, but in all honesty haven't had much time to peruse it. My daughter has had her nose in this book since it arrived at our home. But I love that her head pops up to share with me a fact about St. Thérèse or Joan of Arc or other strong women that my daughter should look up to as inspiration.
Olivia and the Little Way is a 2009 Catholic Press Association book award winner, children's books. It is also a 2010 recipient of the Catholic Writers Guild Seal of Approval.
The sequel, Olivia's Gift, (which I'm certain will wind up on my daughter's bookshelf!) has received the Catholic Writers Guild seal of Approval and is a 2011 Catholic Press Association book award winner.
Note: This post does include affiliate links for ordering. Thank you for your support of my blog.