Big Lake teacher pens children’s book

 April 11, 2014, edition With the publishing of “Just Like Him,” Linda O’Donnell of Big Lake explains the idea of fasting in a colorful 42-page book. The veteran teacher addresses issues such as cheating, bullying, sealing and sin through a story aimed at children. The tale points out the importance of choosing role models to…

Books for this special season

Reading suggestions to provide spiritual nourishment for individuals and families during Lent February 28, 2014, edition By Ann Jonas Lent is a time for spiritual reflection and holy reading. Here are some new books that offer good reading for spiritual growth and renewal. “God for Us: Rediscovering the Meaning of Lent and Easter,” edited by…

One amazing girl

Pakistani teenager’s strength, courage and commitment to education inspires the world Jan. 17, 2014, edition By Ann Jonas “I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban,” by Malala Yousafzai with Christina Lamb. Little, Brown and Company (October 2013). 352 pp. $26. Oct. 9, 2012, started out like…

Writer J.F. Powers remembered through his letters

Jan. 3, 2014, edition By Bob Zyskowski “Suitable Accommodations: An Autobiographical Story of a Family Life: The Letters of J.F. Powers, 1942-1963” edited by Katherine A. Powers. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York (2013). 450 pp., $35. Spending the last few weeks peeking into the life of the late Catholic writer J. F. Powers through…

Good books for Christmas gift giving

Dec. 6, 2013, edition By Ann Jonas “Orphan Train: A Novel” by Christina Baker Kline. William Morrow (April 2013). 273 pp. $14.99.  This interesting historical novel is set in both the present time in Maine and in the early 20th century in Minnesota. Molly, a troubled teenager, is required to help Vivian, an elderly woman,…

Books on Advent enhance prayer life and the spirit of holiday season

Nov. 22, 2013, edition By Ann Jonas For The Visitor To help readers spiritually prepare for the Advent and Christmas season, some notable books have recently been published. All of them can be used again for another Advent season, as they are not specific to this church year. They offer us some wonderful options to…

Memoir recalls bishop setting aside his own grief to write Kennedy eulogy

Nov. 22, 2013, edition By Mark Zimmermann Catholic News Service Auxiliary Bishop Philip Hannan of Washington was a close friend and confidant of President John F. Kennedy, but he had kept that friendship secret. Then he was called upon to deliver the eulogy at the funeral Mass for the country’s first Catholic president, killed by…

Family dynamics, cultural differences set the stage for Strout’s latest great read

 Oct. 11, 2013, edition By Ann Jonas For The Visitor  “The Burgess Boys,” by Elizabeth Strout. Random House (March 2013). 320 pp. $26. Pulitzer Prize-winning author Elizabeth Strout has written another exceptional novel, “The Burgess Boys,” filled with deeply human characters and an absorbing storyline. Like her previous novels, “Olive Kitteridge,” “Amy and Isabelle” and…

Major League’s Jewish slugger battled prejudice as well as pitchers

“Hank Greenberg: Hero of Heroes,” by John Rosengren. New American Library (New York, N.Y., 2013). 400 pp., $26.95. Sept. 13, 2013, edition By Bob Zyskowski CatholicHotdish.com Hank Greenberg’s name comes up less often than that of other baseball greats, even though he hit 58 home runs in a season, four times led the league in…