About Us

“Just at present you only see the tree by the light of the lamp, I wonder when you would ever see the lamp by the light of the tree.”—G.K. Chesterton

Literature is all about looking at things from different perspectives.  G.K. Chesterton speaks to that in his quote.  We often look at things one way, but how amazing would it be to see everything lit by something bigger than ourselves?

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been asked for Catholic book recommendations or asked if a book is appropriate for a young Catholic student.  The world around us is changing and we live in a fast-paced, over-scheduled society which leaves parents little time to read EVERYTHING their son or daughter is reading.  This is why my mother and I have decided to start this blog.  Our goal is to help parents discern the best literature for their children in both elementary, middle school, and high school.

We are hoping to help parents in all situations better connect with their children through literature.  At the elementary level, we can help our children make some good choices in their reading selections, and we have opportunities to do activities and discuss the literature because it is shorter and often focuses on one major discussion point.  As literature becomes more complex, parents and children become busier, parents have less influence on what their children read because now they must read for school.  Often, the literature presented in schools is so new, parents have never read it and might not know how to talk to their kids about the issues of the book OR they have not read the book since high school and don’t remember the details.  We hope that we can provide discussion points for parents, and, at times, Catholic resources and lesson plans for parents to discuss these higher level books with their children.

Because we are here to help you, if your son or daughter has to read a book that you would like to know more about, or if you’d like a Catholic opinion on a particular book, feel free to contact us and talk to us about it.  We will be reviewing books from a number of different sources to provide you with the best feedback possible.

Lit by the Tree is a blog that encourages all of us to look at literature through the eyes of a Catholic and find basic teaching and belief in each novel.


About Beth

I have lived in the hot, dry state of Arizona my whole life.  I graduated from Arizona State University (GO DEVILS!) in 2003 with my BA in Secondary Education with an emphasis in English and my MEd in Curriculum and Instruction in 2010.  I married my husband two days later!  I was a teacher in the Diocese of Phoenix for eleven years and have taught in three different junior highs and high schools.  One thing I loved about teaching was discussing literature.  Whatever book we were studying, I loved delving into the deep parts and picking out the pieces that apply to our faith.  When I had my first daughter, my husband and I decided I should teach part time and when we had our second, we decided it was best for our family if I stay home with the kids.   I hope I can continue to discuss literature with all of you through this blog, and maybe help some of you discern the literature your children are exploring.

Favorite books to teach: Fahrenheit 451, To Kill a Mockingbird, and Dante’s Inferno


About Colleen

I was born and raised in the Midwest but have lived in Arizona most of my life. I graduated from Arizona State University with a BA in Elementary Education.  My thirty-three years of teaching were in the Phoenix and Sacramento Dioceses in kindergarten through fifth grades. I am now retired so I can spend time with my husband, our three grown daughters, and five precious grandchildren who fill my heart.

I have seen children strive to become proficient readers. As they worked toward that goal, the literature they chose expanded their minds and fueled their imaginations.  Good literature feeds the soul and helps children aspire to be the best they can be. That is why reviewing these books is important to me.

Favorite genre to read:  Historical fiction

Favorite books to teach:  The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, Number the Stars, or any book that touches a child’s heart.


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8 thoughts on “About Us”

  1. Hi Beth and Colleen – Thank you for the great review of Divine Mercy for Moms! Emily and I were wondering if you would like to be on our media list to receive a copy of our new book The Friendship Project, The Catholic Woman’s Guide to Making and Keeping Fabulous Faith-Filled Friends? Please send me your email address and mailing address if so!

  2. I just came across your site today and I am sooo happy to have found you! I homeschool my kids and this is such an amazing resource – thank you so much for your work.

  3. Hi Beth and Colleen – I’d love to connect and get you copies of a few of our most recent books for review by Dr. Ray Guarendi, Fr. Gary Caster and Brother Casey Cole (I think you’ll like them):





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Literature reviews from the Catholic side