Do you realize that our youths are facing a darkness of epic proportions? Go to any bookstore and what do you see offered on the children’s/YA shelves? Darkness, the occult, evil. The covers are all black, creepy. Either that or the characters are in skimpy clothing. This is what our youths have to choose from today when they are in the mood for a good book. And some parents are so thrilled that their children are actually reading instead of texting or playing video games, that they either look the other way or bury their heads in the sand. It’s reading, after all. It can’t be that bad, right?
Wrong! If we want to teach our children about God, about values, about standing up for the truth and the precious gift of LIFE, then we need to give them the tools they need: Spiritual armor to fight the battle. Knowledge about our faith. The difference between good and evil. Instead, they are being sent out to fight the battle after reading about vampires, witchcraft and the occult, and stories that celebrate immodesty, disobedience, selfishness, pride, and teen sex.
As a publishing industry insider and award-winning children’s author for pre-teens, I see too often how our kids are being led into the darkness. Much of the material publishers are offering is unhealthy for their spiritual, emotional, and physical development. Harvey House Publishing was founded to provide our children with material worthy of their great dignity and also the tools they need to live joyful, happy lives of true Christian witness. Our precious youth need good, solid role models in order to fight the good fight: The Saints!
Children respond strongly to being introduced to St. Therese, a sweet, yet very powerful saint they can identify with and emulate, who can intercede for these youngsters and pray for them as they make their way through adolescence.
Olivia and the Little Way and its pro-life sequel, Olivia's Gift, are being used in Catholic-school curricula across the U.S., as well as homeschools , Catholic clubs and church groups. Pre-teen readers, teachers, and parents are raving about the series, and are eagerly anticipating the third book in the series.
"While Olivia's Gift is a Catholic story by nature, this is a story of the human spirit and the fact that teenagers and young adults are already experiencing their own profound stories of faith and God...It is a refreshing and realistic reprieve from what teenagers today are currently very distracted by—vampires,” says the Catholic Press Association.
A mom of two pre-teens writes, "I've searched so long for truly Catholic fiction for the preteen set: a fun story that teaches values. I have finally found it in these books! My children are now following the Little Way and love St. Therese. Thank you!”
The next time you are at the bookstore or library, take a good, hard look at what our youths have to choose from, and remember a quote from one of the greatest saints of modern times and Doctor of the Church, The Little Flower: "My sword is Love, and with it I must drive out the stranger from the land, and establish Thy kingdom in souls."
Nancy Carabio Belanger
Publisher, Harvey House Publishing