A boy in ancient Israel, a girl in modern-day America, a young man in the far future; a dozen teenagers in different settings. What do they all have in common? Each of these otherwise unrelated young people is presented with a choice, the same choice that every teen must make at some point in their lives: God or self. Sacrifice or selfishness.
CatholicTeenBooks.com (of which I am a member) is excited to announce its newest anthology: Ashes: Visible and Invisible. This short story collection, which comes out on January 31, will both entertain young readers and invite them into a deeper understanding of Lent and their faith.
Some characters in this anthology risk being eaten by dinosaurs, others must simply rise to a new level of maturity in their everyday life, while some must choose a higher level of generosity. The stakes my vary but each character learns a valuable lesson about sacrifice as they grow in their faith.
Lent is an amazing liturgical season that is often misunderstood. Too often it’s just “the time where you give up chocolate” whereas it can be so much more. It’s a beautiful and liturgically rich season of walking with Christ, even as he approaches Calvary. We wanted to explore some of the variety this season offers and make it more attractive and understandable to teens. My contribution is a brand new unSPARKed short story called ‘A Very Jurassic Lent.’
A taste of what’s inside:
- When Liz’s faith journey hits a roadblock, will an unexpected detour and chance encounter set her back on track?
- A teen’s future was all set—before his tragic loss. But his friend’s secret past just might save it.
- Justin’s religion is outlawed. When an unbeliever asks him about the meaning of life, what can he say?
- Could God be asking Paul to sacrifice a piece of himself for Lent—literally?
- A modern American teen discovers what faith, life and love are like in seventeenth-century Scotland.
- Asher’s desire to prepare for the Messiah intensifies after he’s robbed by bandits. But would fighting alongside the Zealots be the best way?
- When a risky Ash Wednesday mission to sterilize T. rex eggs goes wrong, fasting is the least of Joshua, Darryl, and Harry’s worries.
- A medieval girl stranded on a forsaken path confronts threats from without and turmoil from within.
- Struggling with loss, hunger, and temptation, Ethan finds himself walking in the steps of Jesus
What other people are saying about it:
The Catholic Teen Book authors have done it again! We loved this book from page one; it’s a great way to dig deeper into Lent with your teens. The book has a story for everyone, and they all share the faith in different but wonderful ways. Highly recommend!
Jennifer & Kate Waldyke,
Co-hosts of Catholic Mom and Daughter
‘Ashes’, the latest compilation of stories from CatholicTeenBooks.com provides teen readers with plenty to think about. This compilation focuses on the theme of Lent, Easter, and our own mortality. In each of these stories, there is an encounter with death. Sometimes a death is pending or has just occurred or is threatening nearby. But the experienced and very talented authors at CatholicTeenBooks.com have not presented a depressing, frightening or dark anthology here. Instead, I was surprised to find that each story is uplifting, hopeful and very inspiring.
What binds these stories is that each young person must make a leap of Faith, take a step into a fuller, more mature understanding of their Catholic Faith. Characters are called to forgive, to resist temptation, to be courageous, to be steadfast and responsible. All of them come to understand on a deeper level the sacrificial nature of Love. I highly recommend this collection of stories from the authors at CatholicTeenBooks.com.
Catholic Children’s Stories
This is the fourth anthology from the authors at the Catholic Teen Books collective. Each has been a great read. This Lenten volume is also, to be honest, my favourite of the four now. Each story was remarkable. Many of the contributors to this collection, in their own way, imitate Christ and are master storytellers in our own generation. I have a great deal of respect for the ten authors who contributed to this series. And a couple of them are among my all-time favourite authors. And I read a couple hundred books a year. This anthology is Amazing!
Steven R. McEvoy, BookReviewsAndMore.ca