Favorite Things: Children Books, and Monk Projects

Today I want to share some great books I’ve read with the kids recently and two new projects from two of the monks at HRM.


First up is The Suitcase by Jane G. Meyer. I was thrilled when I heard Jane wrote a new book because I love all of her books; It isn’t clear who loves them more in my house, my kids or me.

Her latest is a delightful book with some surprises and is perfect to read in April because it is Autism Awareness Month and the main character is autistic. The innocent zeal of the main character, a boy who has packed a suitcase to go to heaven, was familiar to me, as I’ve seen it in my children (I’ll bet other parents recognize it too). I love the response of the child’s family to his zeal and appreciate the author’s suggestions for parents to put the lesson from the book into practice. The story provides an opportunity to discuss how we get to the Kingdom of Heaven, where it is, and how to share it with others as Christ calls us to do. My kids listened attentively, trying to figure out how the boy would get to heaven. They were drawn in by Jane’s prose and happily pleased by the conclusion. The illustrations are fun and enjoyable too. Jane G. Meyer’s new book will take its place on the shelf next to her other beautiful and inspiring books. You can read and order The Suitcase on the publisher’s website: Paraclete Press.com

Next, Shepherding Sam by Melinda Johnson. This cute little book tells the story of a boy named Sam and a monastery’s dog named Saucer.


One day we were all sick and sat around our living room bored. This was prime opportunity to read Shepherding Sam since I had all the kids in one place. When I told the kids the book was about a boy visiting a monastery their ears perked up. They were excited to hear a story about kids and people who are like them and people they know! I wanted to read the book to the kids but didn’t have the energy, so I went to Amazon and purchased the Audible version read by the author. The kids passed the book around when there were pictures, and we all listened to Melinda read to us. We enjoyed the charming story, the dog becoming everyone’s favorite character, and we reminisced about past animals and people who have visited the monastery we attend.

Shepherding Sam is a great little book to read to a wide age range of children or one for the older kids to read themselves. It’s a fun introduction story for children to see that monasteries are warm, caring places that are fun and welcoming to all–including unsure children and funny dogs! I highly recommend you add the Audible version to the print book. Your family will enjoy the author reading her story to you! Find it here: http://store.ancientfaith.com/shepherding-sam/

The last two books are great choices for boys. When Diego was younger, I would read The Father Brown Reader to him. These are adaptions for children of G.K. Chesterton’s Father Brown stories. Diego enjoyed the mysteries and now that he is a teenager he is reading on his own The Complete Father Brown Mysteries. You can find it for free or a few dollars for the Kindle at Amazon. I am pleased he loves the stories since they are an introduction to Chesterton for him.

I’m always looking for new books for my kids. Do you have any family favorites you want to share? Post them in the comments.

Last things are projects by two of the monks from Holy Resurrection Monastery:
Brother Isaac has started a new blog called, Along the Way. I highly recommend you check it out. His writing style is enjoyable to read as are the lessons he learns in his daily life as a monk. Find his blog here: www.monkisaac.com

Eastern Hospitality is a series of cooking videos Father Moses is helping to make along with Mother Gabriella from Christ the Bridegroom Monastery. The latest video ready for Palm Sunday is here: http://www.easternhospitality.org/episode-210-palm-flowery-sundaysalmon-pasta/

We are in the homestretch, hope all of you finish Lent well! Let us keep each other in prayer!

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