Friday, February 9, 2024

We Have a Pope- My New Book!


Surprise- I have a new book! We Have a Pope is a beautifully illustrated picture book (dream fulfilled to do a project with the talented Kortnee Senn) and my hope is that it helps little (and big) Catholics appreciate the legacy of St. Peter and the gift of the papacy. Beginning when Jesus calls Peter to hold the keys of the Kingdom and continuing until today, the book also gives a peek into what happens during a papal conclave. Set in Vatican City, the pages share a look at St. Peter’s Square, St. Peter’s Basilica, and the Sistine Chapel.  It’s available for preorder now from The St. Paul Center and will release on February 22nd, the Feast of the Chair of St. Peter!

Here are a few sneak peeks inside, as well as the book description and a couple of the endorsements. (The book has an imprimatur as well- all my books do!)

It’s time to elect a pope!

Welcome to St. Peter’s Square in the heart of the Vatican, where cardinals are arriving from every corner of the globe. They have come to elect a new pope.

We Have a Pope is a gorgeously illustrated children’s book by beloved author Katherine Bogner and illustrator Kortnee Senn.

Discover the history of the papacy and how a new pope is chosen in We Have a Pope. See inside the walls of the Sistine Chapel and watch from St. Peter’s square as the whole Catholic Church waits to hear the words “Habemus papem—we have a pope!”

"A beautiful collaboration between two of my favorite Catholic creators! This book is a charming and informative behind-the-scenes look at how the Catholic Church elects a new pope, vibrantly illustrated. Perfect for classrooms, homeschools, and any home with a love for Catholic traditions and practices.” -Kendra Tierney, Mother of Ten, Author of The Catholic All Year Compendium 

“A delight for the mind, soul, and eyes! With bright, reverent, captivating illustrations, We Have a Pope is such a teaching-rich, unique picture book, one from which both adults and children will learn. I can’t wait to read and reread it to my own children and to recommend the book to others!” -Katie Warner, Bestselling Author of the First Faith Treasury Series


And you know that I always offer resources to help you get the most out of my books! With your purchase of We Have a Pope directly from The St. Paul Center, you will receive a digital download with special bonus resources. (This will be sent directly from SPC with your order confirmation.)

This exclusive PDF includes printable coloring pages, prayer cards, papal trading cards, and more!

You can preorder the book here and it releases in less than two weeks!

(It is also available on Amazon here, and it will be available as an ebook after the release date!)

Wednesday, February 7, 2024

Books for Catholic Teens- Recs for Middle & High School


Books for Catholic Teens
Last week during Catholic Schools Week I opened up a question box on Instagram, taking requests for  "matchmaking" Catholic kids books. I'm still working my way through all of the responses- (you can see my recommendations in this highlight)- but by far the most popular request was for books for teens. Good novels for middle schoolers, gift books for Confirmation, fiction for older teens that isn't boring, Saint biographies that are relatable, etc. 

I don't have all the answers for this one- but I agree that this is a huge need in Catholic publishing. We have shelves full of beautiful Catholic picture books, but novels and texts that are attractive to today's teens? I think we have some work to do.

But I do want to still share a list, because there absolutely are some great books out there. Some of the best novels I've seen for Catholic teens in the past couple of years have been self/independently published- which is awesome, but can make them harder to find. Also, we know that especially for high schoolers, I could list hundreds of adult books that they would be capable of reading. There are certainly books on the list below that were originally written for an adult audience. So I tried to limit what I shared to books that I have in my 6th-8th classroom, have recommended or gifted to high schoolers, etc. And as always, age and reading level is subjective when you have a kid interested in reading something. They can still benefit from reading an "easy" graphic novel to learn about a new Saint or might be willing to stretch themselves to read something a little more challenging to learn more about a topic they are curious about.  This list is far from complete and I'd be happy to continue to add to it as I think of more ideas (or if you share some with me via comments or emails!).

This list contains Amazon Affiliate links, which means if you click through and make a purchase, I earn a small commission at no cost to you. I'd also love to encourage you to shop directly with the publisher or with your local bookshop, or try to request these at your local library! You can find my giant list of Catholic Kid Books by topic here.


Saints/Biographies for Middle School

Saints/Biographies for High School

Saint Graphic Novels for Middle or High School
Catholic Graphic Novels List- Post with interior images and more details
Saints Chronicles Volume 1: Sts. Patrick, Jerome Emiliani, Elizabeth Ann Seton, Henry Morse, and Joan of Arc
Saints Chronicles Volume 2: Sts. Anne Line, Brigid of Ireland, Francis of Assisi, Nicholas, and Pachomius
Saints Chronicles Volume 3: Sts. Anthony of Padua, Ava, Samson, Bernadette, and Charles Lwanga
Saints Chronicles Volume 4: Sts. Willibrord, Margaret of Scotland, Rose of Lima, and Dominic
Saints Chronicles Volume 5: Sts. Ignatius of Loyola, Germaine of Pibrac, Pope Celestine V, Vincent de Paul, and Clare of Assisi
Saint Joan of Arc: Quest for Peace (out of stock on Amazon, available at Pauline Books & Media)
Saint Bernadette: The Miracle of Lourdes (seems to be out of print, could look for a used copy)
Mother Teresa of Kolcutta: Saint Among the Poor (out of stock on Amazon, available at Pauline Books & Media)
Maximilian Kolbe: The Saint of Auschwitz, by Jean-Francois Vivier, Illustrated by Joel Costes

Theology/Q&A for Middle School
Theology/Q&A for High School

Prayer/Journals/Devotionals for Middle School
The Jesse Tree Advent Journal, Lumen Ecclesiae Press

Prayer/Journals/Devotionals for High School
Advent and Christmas One Day at a Time for Catholic Teens, Katie Prejean McGrady & Tommy McGrady

Tuesday, February 6, 2024

Lent Radiant Roundup


It's almost time for Lent to begin! Ash Wednesday is on February 14th. If you are looking for some ways to bring the beauty of the prayer, fasting and almsgiving to your children or students, here's a whole roundup of ideas: 

First up, here are some favorite posts:

Lent: Pray, Fast, Give Foldable* (Also in Spanish and Portuguese)

What Lent Looks Like* Coloring Page/Printable


Give Up & Take Up*: Lent Youth Group Lesson, Videos, and Resources


And tons more Lenten posts: 
Lent: Ideas for 40 Days* (Roundup Post of Links)
Lent Family Weekly Plan*- Sunday Gospels and Fasting/Giving using the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy (editable)

Here are a few ideas for Holy Week and the Triduum if you like to plan ahead!
Holy Week Family Retreat & Journal* (In English, Spanish, and French, and with an editable schedule)

What the Triduum Looks Like* Coloring Page/Printable

Thursday, February 1, 2024

February Radiant Roundup

Happy February! We welcome in the month of the Holy Family during this short chunk of Ordinary Time. Here are some resources to enrich your home or classroom this month, including a look ahead at Lent, which begins on February 14th!
Resources with a * mean that they contain free printables (or shareable digital files).


Month of the Holy Family:





St. Abigail (St. Gobnait): February 11th
St. Abigail coloring pages*


St. Valentine: February 14th
Saintly Friends Bingo Game*

Lent: Begins on February 14th 
Lent: Ideas for 40 Days* (Round-up Post of Links)
Lent Looks Different (Classroom decorations)
What Lent Looks Like* Coloring Page/Printable
What the Triduum Looks Like* Coloring Page/Printable
Lent: Pray, Fast, Give Foldable* (Also in Spanish)
Lenten Prayer Challenge Board* (Also editable)
Holy Week Family Retreat & Journal* (In English, Spanish, and French, and with an editable schedule)
Lent Family Weekly Plan*- Sunday Gospels and Fasting/Giving using the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy (editable)


Bl. Fra Angelico: February 18th


Click here for a list of great books for Catholic kids in February:

February Books for Catholic Kids


February Catholic Kids Book List
Below are a few favorite titles that fit well with devotions and feast days this month! This list contains Amazon Affiliate links, which means if you click through and make a purchase, I earn a small commission at no cost to you. I'd also love to encourage you to shop directly with the publisher or with your local bookshop, or try to request these at your local library! I'm sure I've missed some books that would be great for this month, so feel free to add your own recommendations in the comments! You can find my giant list of Catholic Kid Books by topic here.

The Month of the Holy Family
Saint Feast Days this Month
2/1- St. Brigid
2/8- St. Josephine Bakhita
2/10- St. Scholastica
2/11- Our Lady of Lourdes
2/14- St. Valentine
2/22- The Chair of St. Peter

Lent Begins

Black History Month
A great opportunity to learn about Black American Catholics on the road to Sainthood!

Book Lists By Month:
Click on the images below for book lists organized by feast days and devotions for each month: