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BIS READS Blog

Fall in Love with Catholic Books this Autumn (Plus Ideas for Kids!)

catholic fiction books kids

Autumn is one of my favorite seasons. I welcome its familiar comforts: rustic colors, crunching leaves, savory soups, and cozy layers. The season of autumn also signals a fresh start, with the beginning of a new academic year.

The new season of fall and the new school year bring promise of new growth, new opportunity, and new discovery. And as this newness swirls among the falling leaves and blows freely in the fresh autumn air, I am reenergized to continue the lifelong pursuit of learning and growing, especially when it comes to my faith.

Reading that Inspires Faith

The beauty of the Catholic Faith is that as we continue to grow, God invites us to go deeper. He reveals new truths and invites us to explore new mysteries. We will never exhaust the depths and heights of our Faith, and we will never get to the bottom of the stack of books we could read to help us fall more and more in love with the Lord and His Church.

So, whether we are still in school or it has been years since we stepped foot into a classroom, God encourages us to continuously learn, grow, and discover. He inspires us to dive deep into the areas of prayer, Scripture study, Church teaching, and authentic Christian living.

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While there are many excellent Catholic books out there, I highlight four to consider this autumn: two fiction and two non-fiction—all filled with truth, goodness, and beauty.

This fall, let’s dive into good books that draw us closer to God and teach us something new about our Faith at the same time.

4 Catholic Books to Fall in Love With This Autumn

Chick Lit

Many women have been burned by fiction, especially “chick lit.” So, I was overjoyed to discover Catholic Philosopher Chick Makes Her Debut by Rebecca Bratten Weiss and Regina Doman. It follows former fashion writer Catelyn Frank as she travels to Texas to start her doctorate program. This clean, fun novel will accompany your favorite pumpkin drink quite perfectly. But that is not to say this book is mindless reading. On the contrary, Catholic Philosopher Chick is intelligent and witty.

The transcendentals of truth, beauty, and goodness as well as gentle lessons on the feminine genius are woven throughout the storyline. College-age and young-adult women will identify with protagonist Catelyn’s struggles, but women of all ages will appreciate the imperfect ways she strives for holiness.

Deep and Poignant

As leaves turn from green to gold to brown, and as darkness fills the air, fall gives us more time indoors for deeper reflection and quiet contemplation. A good book for “such a time as this” is Rachel’s Contrition by Michelle Buckman. It is a fast-paced novel filled with loss, grief, mystery, love, healing, and hope.

It begins at a very dark time in Rachel Winter’s life. In the first few chapters, we learn about her broken childhood that leads to destruction and despair. But as the story progresses, Rachel’s life begins to be restored through the unlikely help of a teenager named Lily and the powerful presence of St. Thérèse of Lisieux.

This novel includes difficult and mature scenarios and raw emotions, but it also portrays the truth that redemption is open to everyone.

Fall Into Organizing

More often, we associate organizing and cleaning with the season of spring. But autumn is also a wonderful time to declutter, as we shift our wardrobes and prepare our homes for the upcoming holidays.

One book that can guide us through this effort is Making Room for God: Decluttering and the Spiritual Life by Mary Sperry. This organization book explores the relationship between our stuff and our Catholic beliefs. Each chapter includes details on the author’s own journey (and struggle) with decluttering, to encourage us along the way.

While Sperry draws wisdom from the Bible, liturgy, Fathers of the Church, lives of the saints, and Church teachings, she also offers practical elements to help us declutter our homes once and for all.

‘Tis the Season for Saints

Autumn ushers in the Catholic tradition of honoring the Saints in Heaven with the Solemnity of All Saints (November 1st). We also remember those who have gone before us on All Souls Day (November 2nd).

Because of these special holy days, autumn is a wonderful time to learn more about the saints. Blessed Are You: Finding Inspiration From Our Sisters in Faith by Melanie Rigney explores the eight Beatitudes Jesus taught by introducing us to women saints who exemplified specific Beatitudes during their lives. Readers quickly discover that there are multiple ways to approach spiritual poverty, meekness, mercy, and peacemaking. And the diversity of the saints in this book allows readers to connect with one or another in very personal ways.

Blessed Are You gives a hopeful, encouraging message to follow the Lord right where you are at this moment. And to lean on your sisters in faith to inspire you along the way.

Back to School Bonuses

For those who are searching for quality Catholic fiction for children, here are three bonus suggestions for Catholic kids of all ages.

Grade School

Sisters of the Last Straw is a four-book series by Karen Boyce about a group of misfit nuns with bad habits. In each book, they try to overcome their faults, bear with each other, and work on virtue. At the same time, they find themselves in the middle of a mystery to solve. This series is fun and funny, demonstrating that sisters are real people, too! These books also teach young readers to see one another with greater compassion.

Middle School

A Single Bead by Stephanie Engelman is a beautiful story about the power of prayer through the eyes of 16-year-old Katelyn. It begins on the anniversary of her grandmother’s death, which caused her mother to enter a deep depression. Katelyn discovers a single bead from her grandmother’s Rosary. This begins a quest to find the other missing beads. A Single Bead is filled with themes of family, prayer, faith, and hope.

High School

The Perfect Blindside by Leslea Wahl is about Jake Taylor, a young Olympic snowboarder, and Sophie Metcalf, a high school junior. They are new friends, who find themselves mixed up in a mystery that they must work together to solve. It is a wonderful tale of romance, mystery, faith, and fun.

What are you reading this fall? Please share your current read in the comments section below.

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Sarah Damm is a Catholic wife and mother of six children, living in Minnesota. She spends her days running errands, helping with homework, and keeping up with laundry and the family schedule. Sarah loves her faith, coffee, and good books. You can find out more about her and her writing here.

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6 Comments

  • Reply
    Amaura
    October 9, 2018 at 7:24 am

    I absolutely love when BIS does book recommendations! Thank you!

    • Reply
      Sarah
      October 11, 2018 at 7:40 am

      So good to hear. Thanks, Amaura!

  • Reply
    Patrycia
    October 16, 2018 at 9:27 pm

    I’m reading the “Chime Travelers” series by Lisa M. Hendey for my 3rd graders- it’s my 3rd year reading these stories and my students LOVE THEM! I highly encourage them as students/kids get to “travel back in time” to meet Saints in the making…and then apply lessons learned back to modern day examples. Enjoy!

    • Reply
      Sarah
      October 23, 2018 at 2:28 pm

      Such a good series, Patrycia! Stay tuned … I highlight one of them in my Advent book list, which will post to the BIS blog soon 🙂

  • Reply
    Kimi
    October 18, 2018 at 2:39 pm

    I love when you guys post the book recommendations. Thank you!

    • Reply
      Sarah
      October 23, 2018 at 2:29 pm

      So happy you like them, Kimi! Thank you!!

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