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Books briefly noted: Something for each age

Outlook Book Review Editor Amy Pagliarella suggests some must-read, books for all ages.

Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

Wonder Awaits
Caroline Hamilton-Arnold
Chalice Press | Published February 22, 2022

This beautiful new book for young children encourages them (and their adults) to wonder by grounding them in the theological vision of God creating with wonder and then moving us to join in. My three-year-old and I enjoyed Caroline Hamilton-Arnold’s steps on to how to wonder, as well as her invitation to enter into the worlds of children’s ways of wondering. Each page is action-packed and filled with photos of racially diverse children.

Reviewed by Rev. Abbi Heimach-Snipes, Chicago, Illinois.

Apple and Magnolia
Laura Gehl and Patricia Metola
Flyaway Books | Published February 8, 2022

Our three kids (ages 7, 4 and 1) loved this gem of a book about trusting your intuition, connecting with God’s creation and appreciating the gift of unusual friendships. The illustrations are serene and joyful, and the writing is animated and deft. Young Britta visits two trees, Apple and Magnolia, every day. As Magnolia starts to droop, Britta knows Apple is going to help Magnolia survive — and she decides to help too. I loved learning with our kids about how trees “talk” to and “help” one another!

Reviewed by Rev. Jeff Lehn, Wilmette, Illinois.

Maus: A Survivor’s Tale
Art Spiegelman
Pantheon, 296 pages | Published August 12, 1986

I know what the Holocaust is, but this graphic novel told one family’s story in a new and suspenseful way. The author’s dad shared his story of living in Poland and going to a concentration camp to his son, who told the story in pictures, illustrating the Jews as mice and the Nazis as cats, which made it so clear how the Jews were treated. Middle schoolers are mature enough to read this and know this history — it should not be banned.

Reviewed by Rowan Foley, seventh grader at Rogers Park Montessori School, Chicago, Illinois.

Flip it Like This!
David Hayward
Broadleaf Books, 134 pages | Published July 19, 2022

David Hayward has probably already made you smile, laugh ruefully or tear up. In his ubiquitous @nakedpastor cartoons on Instagram, he draws the truth in love, illustrating the church’s hypocrisies and gate-keeping tendencies. This short “best of” collection was a powerful conversation starter with my disaffected teenager and could be similarly used with youth groups. It would make a loving gift for a friend who simply needs a laugh or for one who has experienced spiritual abuse and come out on the other side.

Reviewed by Amy Pagliarella, Outlook’s book editor.

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