Category Archives: reading

Holiday Traditions: An Italian Christmas Book

When I was a little girl my mother would read us a book about holiday traditions. It told us about all of the ways that other cultures and countries celebrated. My mother’s grandfather came to America when he was a teenager. He came all the way from Italy at the age of 13, without his parents, and without his siblings. He came to work in America and eventually start a family of his own and create his own traditions. My great-grandfather was so passionate about America that he let many of his Italian traditions stay in Italy. Except for his Christmas traditions. Those he kept close.

So it made sense that every year all of us grandchildren learned just as much about Old Befana as we did Santa Claus. My mother read us the Legend of Old Befana every Christmas, of an old italian woman searching for the Christ Child. I remember the book very plainly. But had not seen it in years. So I was surprised to see it in the bookstores this holiday season. Originally published in 1980 it has been reissued this year. Now I can bring it home and share it with my own children and renew the tradition that has lasted for so many generations in my family.

Just like Santa, Old Befana delivers presents to the little girls and boys that have been good, and lumps of coal to those that have been bad. She uses her broom to sweep away the bad things of the year and usher in good things for the new year. The Legend of Old Befana is a great traditional story for any Italian family, or any family looking to learn about other cultures.

Best Books: Spaced Out (Moon Base Alpha)

Does your young reader love a good suspenseful story? Does your young reader love space? They will not want to miss this book then.

Spaced Out (Moon Base Alpha) is the story of the first community based on the moon. They live their entire lives within this small community. Everyone knows everyone. SO not much can go wrong — right? That is until the Moon Base Commander goes missing. Moon Base Commander Nina Stack has disappeared — completely off the face of the moon. There aren’t many places to hide, and yet no one knows where she is. Enter Dash Gibson. Dash is a 12 year old boy that loves a good mystery, and nothing is more mysterious than this case.

Follow Dash as he discovers things about the Moon Base, and his fellow settlers that he did not expect. What can readers expect? Aliens, friends, mystery, and a possible sequel.

Stuart Gibbs has created an incredible world in this and his other Moon Base Alpha books. Be sure to check him and his series out if your young readers fall in love with this story.

Best Books: Her Right Foot

The Statue of Liberty has been an icon to the American people for centuries. We all know her history, she was a gift from the French and she stands tall in New York City. But do we know her story?

Dave Eggers introduces the story of the Statue of Liberty in this tongue-in-cheek tale, Her Right Foot. Eggers brings the Statue to life and with pieces from her history shapes a story of her background giving us all a little taste of what it truly means to be American.

Her Right Foot

Lady Liberty has been a symbol to American’s for centuries. She has greeted immigrants from the sea. American’s and other visitors from around the world have traveled to visit this distinguished lady in her home on the small island near New York. She has been there to greet everyone since she was placed there so long ago. But now we can hear her own story, how she came to be here, who she is, and why she is there to greet all who come to see her.

Her right foot is a poignant tale that will open up a world of topics to your kids. Why did our country form? Why is America so unique and so special? Where do we come from? When did our family come to America? Use this fun story to teach a little about the history of America, Lady Liberty, and your own family.