We’re nearly two weeks in to 2024: how’s it going so far? Here in Charlotte, we’ve already had a major storm that messed up the electricity in more than one of our buildings at church and kept kids home from school for a day, so I’d say we’re off to an exciting start.
Around the Web
2024 Newbery Buzz #3: The Puppets of Spelhorst
Our friends at Redeemed Reader discuss a potential book on the Newbery list.
- Kate DiCamillo’s very first book won a Newbery honor, and she has won two Newbery medals on top of that. Is The Puppets of Spelhorst worthy of another award?
She has such a gift of telling stories that move the heart, and The Puppets of Spelhorst is the beginning of a new series that has the feel of many old world traditional tales.
You Need to Save This for When It’s Hard to Keep Going
Ann Voskamp has a collection of encouragement and resources for 2024.
- Right about now is when it starts to get even harder to put one step in front of the other toward those hopes of yours.
Because it’s now the second week of January.
And the research says that “80% of people forget their resolutions by January 12,” and the health app Strava, analyzing more than 98.3 million uploaded data points, even goes far to dub January 19, just around the corner, “Quitter’s Day.”
8 Amazing Middle Grade Books, January 2024
Melissa Taylor at Imagination Soup recommends middle grade books
- The impressive middle grade books I’m reviewing for January 2024 include historical fiction, realistic fiction, fantasy, funny, and a ghost story. I liked them and think your readers will, too.
5 Powerful Ways for Parents to Encourage Their Kids’ Faith
Alicia Searl points us to ways we can encourage the faith of the kids in our lives.
- Having three daughters of various ages, two of whom are teens, has humbled me – a lot! In full transparency, I wish I could say that raising my girls in a faith-based home, striving to help them learn to love the Lord through deed, word, and action, is all it took to get them to cling to faith. But I would be lying. That is because so many other factors come into play.
Around the Warren
These Fragile Remembrances
Kathryn Butler considers memories and the sharing of them.
- My husband was uncharacteristically silent after our church service on New Year’s Eve. After the kids had finally gone to bed — for real this time, without the tromp of footsteps down the stairs announcing one last drink of water or one last comment about Pokemon — we nestled into the rare quiet, and he ventured to assign words to his jumble of emotions. “That last hymn stirred up a thought,” he said.
His answer surprised me, as the hymn was a favorite in our family worship time. “Be Thou My Vision?” I said. “Why in particular? Something about the lyrics?”
“No. I was thinking about how I used to sing that to the kids when they were babies. They obviously don’t remember, and you were working at the hospital. It’s a memory that no one remembers except me.”
The Winter King: A Review
Glenn McCarty reviews The Winter King by Christine Cohen.
- For those of us in the North, winter is a season of waiting. We dance through December and January, buoyed by the holiday spirit, but by March, the grays and whites of the world start gnawing at us, and we can feel the keen hunger for spring. We are meant to feel this way, I believe. Our hunger reminds us of the feast awaiting us when the seasons turn. Stories that capture this waiting have always called to me, from Dickens to DiCamillo, as they wrap the flesh and bone of story around this innate human yearning for redemption and wholeness.
Something to Do with Your Kids
Pablo Picasso facts and coloring pages? How fun is that?
Something to Watch
Babish takes on Willy Wonka’s edible flower teacup in a Binging with Babish video.
Thanks for reading. We’re on your side.
–The Story Warren Team