Reviews of Children's Books
Francis Phillips reviews The Centurion’s Gift, by Frances Buchanan
Available from the author at: http://thecenturionsgift.blogspot.com/
"The author of this book writes that it is “aimed at children from 10 upwards and is designed to present a fast-paced page-turner to help today’s youngsters turn towards more wholesome literature.” She adds, “I also wanted it to be historically accurate but not bogged down with detail.” Having read the book I can vouch both for its exciting plot and its historical veracity. I would add that the author herself is 18 and currently following a classical curriculum at a Dominican convent school in France. She is thinking of studying medicine at university and sales of this first novel are intended to help pay the cost of her studies."
"Some children, despite the sophisticated appeal of modern fantasy literature such as Philip Pullman and his ilk, still relish historical novels where they can escape to a real past rather than a fictitious future."
"It is impossible to read a newspaper these days without noticing an article about the ‘problem’ of boys. Whether the cause is the relentless march of feminism, the disappearance of apprenticeships or lack of national service, it seems it is hard to be a boy in today’s society. I have only one solution to this state of affairs: fire their imaginations! To mothers of sons young enough to be ordered away from the TV or computer (say between ages 7-14), I suggest you sit them down and read aloud Brave Buffalo Fighter by John D. Fitzgerald."
Since the beatification of Francisco and Jacinta Marto on 13 May 2000, there has been renewed interest in these youngest beati in the history of the Church. The story of the apparitions of Our Lady at Fatima in Portugal in 1917 has been told countless times. However, it is rare to find a book on this theme which combines a trenchant, humorous narrative style together with many spiritual insights which reveal the author's own inner prayer-life.
Eat your heart out, Harry Potter! The publishers of Leo Madigan’s latest book, Bethlehem Books, say The Weka-Feather Cloak is their answer to “you-know-what”. And it is.
"This book is a fable for modern youth. Dedo, a simple Portuguese peasant boy, who wants to be a priest and who has a wise donkey who talks to him, goes through amazing adventures pursued by an evil Baron. ... He is a good role model for modern young teenagers - guarding against exploitation without being rude, learning whom to trust and resisting the attraction of sex.
"The book left a good taste in my mouth. Although slow to start, in the end I could not put it down."
Theotokos Catholic Books - Book Reviews Section - www.theotokos.org.uk