August is a deceptive time of year. On the surface, the lazy, hazy days of summer appear to reign supreme. But for many of us, there is a subtle change of consciousness as we recharge our reserves of energy and begin the preparations for fall busyness.
Nowhere is this more true than in education. Teachers know they need to be ready for the September onslaught of students, full of energy, curiosity and — for a fleeting moment anyway — a passion for learning. So committed teachers use August to get ready with lesson plans and responses for whatever questions will come their way.
This fall, Novalis is there to help. We have an eloquent and thought-provoking guide to how our Catholic traditions and teachings have informed literature through the ages with Faith and Literature Matters. From drama to poetry, fiction to biography, this collection of essays will help teachers come to a deeper understanding of their own faith so they, in turn, can guide their students in English class. Edited by Michael W. Higgins, who also wrote the introduction, this book plumbs the wisdom of noted Canadian novelist David Adams Richards, poet and critic J.S. Porter, biblical scholar Diane Tolomeo, popular film writer Sr. Rose Pacatte, Douglas Letson, a writer of many books exploring faith and literature and Mary Paquette Holmes, a veteran educator. Together they provide a framework and context for using Christian traditions to permeate classroom discussions. Faith and Literature Matters is the second volume in our Faith and Society Series, aimed at helping teachers navigate the sometimes-murky waters where faith and secular culture blend together.
For teachers of young children, we are publishing two interesting and fun aids to help students learn about the Bible. Children’s Bible Games for the Old Testament and Children’s Bible Games for the New Testament provide ready-to-go games and crafts to bring popular Bible stories to life. Along the same vein, we have Peace: The Prayer of St. Francis now available in a hauntingly beautiful, full-colour illustrated book, ideal for classroom libraries and reading aloud.