Category Archives: For the Adults

One Year with Lit By the Tree! Thank you !

I can’t believe it’s been a year since we started our tiny blog. Our hope was to review wonderful books parents could  read with their kids and suggest great Catholic lessons to go along with them.  We also hoped to provide a place for parents to look for help with determining if books were healthy for their older kids.  Hopefully we are doing what we set out to do and  we are incredibly grateful for those of you who have read us and shared us and supported us!Thank You

A lot has changed in our lives over the last year and we thank you for standing by us as we worked through some kinks and built our base of reviews.  We absolutely love being able to share our thoughts with you and we are grateful that we have been given this forum.  We hope you stay with us as we continue to grow and learn.

In honor of our first year, here are our top shared reviews!  If you missed them, be sure to check them out…and maybe add them to your summer reading list!  Click on any picture for more information! Continue reading One Year with Lit By the Tree! Thank you !

A Blessed Time: A Review of ‘The Moment is Now’

“Pray, hope, and don’t worry.  Worry is useless.  God is merciful and will hear your prayer.”—St Padre Pio

Review and Thoughts

*I am so excited to be able to review this book.  It comes out today!  I was lucky enough to get an advanced copy.  Please share and spread the word for this lovely author!*

I spent the majority of my twenties as a single woman.  There were a few romances along the way, one or two that broke my heart, but most of my time was alone.  Waiting, wondering, praying and hoping for my husband to find me.  I’m pretty sure I prayed every Catholic novena, some with my other single friends and many on my own and I prayed every night for my husband…wherever he was. Continue reading A Blessed Time: A Review of ‘The Moment is Now’

Ordinary Things: A Review of ‘The Corporal Works of Mommy and Daddy’

“The family is the first essential cell of all humanity.”–Pope Francis

“In my little way there are only very ordinary things.”–Saint Terese of Lisieux

Review and Comments

The Corporal Works of Mommy and Daddy was a blessing for this young  stay-at-home mother of two (soon to be three).   With such young kids so close together, and with days when I often feel I do the same thing over and over again, it was relieving to read that I, too, can work for the glory of God in this Year of Mercy.

The corporal works of mercy were concepts I was taught in the third grade.  (My mother was my teacher and I remember learning them well.)  As an adult, I often think about how I should be doing more…how these corporal works should be the forefront of my life.  Then, Dr. Greg and Lisa Popcak wrote this wonderful book reminding us all that we can all live these works every day in our own families.  And what better way to teach our children the love and mercy of Christ?   When they see us live this way every day, they are learning as well. Continue reading Ordinary Things: A Review of ‘The Corporal Works of Mommy and Daddy’

A Necessary Read: A Review of ‘The Walls Are Talking’

“It seems to me that there are two types of pro-lifers active in the cause.  The first simply wants to win, and in their minds, they do this by saving the baby.  They are the right fighters who don’t seem to give any consideration to the other lives involved, such as the mother, father, and clinic workers.  Their goal is to save the baby at all costs.

Of course we all want to save the baby, but the second group of people I see in the movement have realized that the hearts, minds, and souls of many others are at stake as well.  They are the people who excite me and encourage me on a daily basis.  They are the people who want to help in any way possible.  They want to provide so many avenues of support that abortion would be unthinkable.  They offer solutions instead of slogans, prayers instead of protests, self-sacrifice instead of self-righteousness.”—Abby Johnson

Interest Level:

Grades 11-12+

Review and Thoughts

I’m pretty familiar with Abby Johnson, her And Then There Were None organization, and her first book, Unplanned, so I was excited to hear more from her.  The Walls Are Talking is a book that tells the different stories of women who have experienced first-hand what it is like to work in an abortion clinic.  Let me tell you, this was a tough read. Continue reading A Necessary Read: A Review of ‘The Walls Are Talking’

Reclaiming the Beauty of Fantasy: A Review of ‘The Land’s Whisper’

“Fairy tales do not tell children that dragons exist.  Children already know that dragons exist.  Fairy tales tell children the dragon can be killed.” —G. K. Chesterton

Suggested Grade Level:

Grades 9-12+

Review and Thoughts:

I have to admit, I am not a huge fan of fantasy.  With the exception of the more classic fantasies like the “The Chronicles of Narnia”, “The Lord of the Rings”, and “The Harry Potter Series”, I generally steer clear of the imaginary worlds invented in others’ heads.  I have also found that more modern fantasies reduce themselves to including a lot of sex and violence to make the story more captivating.  (“Game of Thrones” anyone?)  I am happy to say, that when I read “The Land’s Whisper” I was pleasantly surprised. Continue reading Reclaiming the Beauty of Fantasy: A Review of ‘The Land’s Whisper’

An Interview with a New Author: Monica Lee Kennedy

Lit by the Tree is so lucky to have gotten the opportunity to interview a great new author.  Monica Lee Kennedy has just written her first fantasy trilogy, “The Parting Breath Series”.  Aside from being a beautiful person, her trilogy is not to be missed! Tomorrow we will post our review of the first book, so be sure to come back and check it out.  Today, we are happy to learn more about Ms. Kennedy!DSC01883

Can you describe the kind of audience you intend for “The Parting Breath Series”?

I wrote this series for high schoolers and above. I wanted to create a series that was entertaining and fun, and could appeal to both adults and young adults alike.

What inspired you to write this book? Can you tell us more about the rest of the upcoming trilogy?

I love reading. I love stories. I love language. These things have formed me and taught me and continue to stretch and change me. I think my desire to write flowed naturally from them, because I wanted to be part of all the beauty, part of all the fun. Continue reading An Interview with a New Author: Monica Lee Kennedy

Aspirations of the Heart: A Beautiful List of Prayer Books to Give Someone for Christmas

“Prayer is an aspiration of the heart, it is a simple glance directed to heaven.  It is a cry of gratitude and love in the midst of trial as well as joy; finally, it is something great, supernatural, which expands my soul and unites me to Jesus.”–St. Therese of Lisieux

The prayer books we have listed below are a meager few of some of our favorites.  They are short and simple, enough for the busy lives we tend to lead. (Click on the picture to take you to Amazon.com for more information on each book.)

Word By Word: Slowing Down with the Hail Mary by Sarah A. Reinhard is a beautiful way to slow yourself down when reciting the Hail Mary.  After years of reciting the prayer, I, unfortunately, find myself rushing through the words. This book is a compilation of reflections and questions based on the short phrases of the prayer.  They are short enough for you to read one each day and spend a few minutes meditating on the questions asked at the end of each reflection.  It’s a wonderful way to look at the Hail Mary for those of us who have become “familiar” with the prayer. Continue reading Aspirations of the Heart: A Beautiful List of Prayer Books to Give Someone for Christmas

Celebrating Halloween (Part One): A Response to Halloween From Four Catholic Moms

00000018In today’s changing world, Halloween has evolved along with society.  Costumes aren’t quite as innocent as they used to be, candy is blamed for contributing to childhood obesity, and trick-or-treating has become a concern for some people worried about what could be in candy...or worse, who could be passing it out!  Luckily there is also beauty in the holiday for Catholics, in fact, its origins began with us.  Innocent celebration can teach our children a special part of our cultural history and create lasting memories for years. Below are thoughts from individual Catholic moms about their feelings toward Halloween. Continue reading Celebrating Halloween (Part One): A Response to Halloween From Four Catholic Moms