Give the gift of reading this holiday season

“I think reading is a gift.”

-Ann M. Martin, author of The Magic Tree House series

“Zealot: the Life and Times

of Jesus of Nazareth”

The person and the work of Jesus of Nazareth has been a topic of constant interest since he lived and died some 2000 years ago.

Aslan, who has studied religion for years and holds degrees in theological studies and the sociology of religions, offers a compelling look at Jesus the man as he evolved into Jesus the Christ. Carefully comparing historical records with biblical accounts, this academic perspective has been called by reviewers “compulsively readable” and a “superb work.” This one is available in digital format.

“The Measures Between Us”

Three families in Boston face personal crises. Vincent and Mary Pareto are caring for their 22-year-old daughter who has come home from California after breaking up with her boyfriend. Dr. Henry Wheeling, a former student of Vincent’s, helps the Paretos get their daughter into a high profile psychiatric hospital. The Wheeling household is also in turmoil; Henry is having an affair with a graduate student. Sam Newell, a single parent, is raising an autistic son. The stories of these characters cause all of us to stop and look at the shifting covenants we make with ourselves and the ones we love.

What binds these characters is what binds all of us – flawed relationships, calls answered and letters unopened. This is a story of heartache and of grace.

“The Dark”

One of our favorite authors is here again. It’s Lemony Snicket, and he’s telling Lazlo’s story. You see, Lazlo is afraid of the dark, but the dark is not afraid of Lazlo. Lazlo lives in a house and dark lives in the basement. Sometimes, Lazlo discovered, the dark creeps up the stairs and hides behind the shower curtain and places like that. One day the dark called to Lazlo and said, “Come on downstairs to the basement…” and then Lazlo was not afraid of the dark anymore. Jon Klassen’s illustrations are super.

“Cowboy Boyd

and Mighty Calliope”

The other cowboys are pretty skeptical when Cowboy Boyd and his “horse” arrive to work on the Double R Ranch. After all, a rhino named Calliope and decked out like a horse is unusual.

Of course, every task Calliope attempts ends in disaster and soon Rosie the Rancher tells the two “roll on.” However, that very night a situation arises and Calliope and Cowboy Boyd provide a happy ending for everyone. Van Donnick’s illustrations are outstanding and you’ll say “Yipeeee” for finding this great read-aloud.

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