A housing crisis is clamping down on middle-income workers—teachers like Renata Sanchez—in prosperous California
Culture Children's Books
In Indescribable, Giglio explores God’s creation through 100 devotionals related to space, earth, animals, and people. Giglio writes that it’s important for children to learn about what God has created because it helps them also learn more about Him: “The stars don’t speak in words like we do, but how big they are and the way they shine so bright tell us that the God who created them is amazing and powerful.” Each short devotional in this fully illustrated book begins with a science concept and then relates it to a simple Biblical principle. Kids will enjoy each day’s “Be Amazed” factoid that further highlights a piece of God’s amazing world. (Ages 5-9)
Exploring Grace Together
Thompson and her mother Elyse Fitzpatrick co-authored in 2011 Give Them Grace: Dazzling Your Kids with the Love of Jesus (see “Notable books,” Aug. 27, 2011). Exploring Grace Together is Thompson’s 2014 follow-up of short, family devotionals centered on gospel concepts. Each of the 40 entries offers a Bible verse, a vignette, and then questions for discussion. The vignettes center on scenarios elementary children may encounter in school or home, identifying root sins and then pointing to Biblical truths and our need for Jesus. Older children will find the devotionals overly simplistic, but their concise format will appeal to parents managing short attention spans. (Ages 5-10)
Machowski’s latest book of 10-minute family devotionals spends 13 weeks studying 13 parables aimed at fulfilling Psalm 78:4’s exhortation to “tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the Lord.” Each chapter begins by introducing an action word of the week and providing a hands-on family activity intended to get kids thinking about the week’s parable study. Five days of devotionals follow, each with a Bible passage, short commentary, and questions for discussion that make this book well-suited for older school children. Sprinkled throughout the weeks’ lessons are “Fun Fact” boxes and opportunities for “Going Deeper.” (Ages 8-13)
Through 100 brief devotionals, Shankle sets out to encourage girls on the cusp of womanhood to be brave in their walk with God and to cultivate the kind of faith that makes them fearless. Shankle addresses a variety of concerns tweens and teens may encounter in their faith journey while using Scripture and vignettes to instruct them in Biblical truth. The entries in this beautiful gift book each conclude with a take-away point and space to answer reflection questions. Every five days, Shankle includes an activity designed to help girls serve others or learn more about who they are in Christ. (Ages 8-13)
In Secret Keeper Girl: The Power of Modesty for Tweens (Moody, 2017), Dannah Gresh helps girls discover seven Biblical secrets to true beauty and modesty. The book features visually appealing text and illustrations that combine Scripture lessons with practical application. For deeper discussion, moms may want to pair Gresh’s book with her Mom-Daughter Devos with Coloring Experience (Moody, 2017). Its seven weeks of devotionals supplement The Power of Modesty for Tweens. Each week concludes with a coloring page moms and daughters can complete while discussing a take-away message.
In Forensic Faith For Kids (David C Cook, 2018), J. Warner and Susie Wallace invite middle schoolers to help solve a mystery as they learn how to apply investigative skills to defending their faith. The plot lacks engaging storytelling, but the corresponding free online resources—including videos, printable activity sheets, and leader’s guide—make it a helpful resource for teaching thinking skills. —K.C.