Let’s put CyberMonday’s commercialist tendencies toward the pursuit of good and spend some of our holiday dollars on the best Catholic books for children and adults, courtesy of CatholicsRead.

And here is the required caveat. There are no strict criteria or reasons for why these titles are on these two lists. I interpreted “best” in a variety of ways which I have shared below.

Here’s my top 10 list of CatholicsRead books for children. The first is a standout title (probably for the older children in your life) that connects faith with literature, C.S. Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia. If you have children who like to read, this is at the top of my list. Perhaps something to read as a family.

Numbers 2-6 just belong on every Catholic child’s bookshelf—next to your Children’s Bible, all of the Newberry and Caldicott winners you own, and your Dr. Seuss collection. Others like Blessed Chiara Badano and Grandfather Tree touch on challenging subjects like happiness and aging. And then you can’t go wrong with two Christmas parables!

  1. A Catholic Guide to Narnia
  2. A Child’s Book of the Mass
  3. My Mass Book
  4. The Gospels for Young Catholic
  5. The Bible for Little Ones
  6. Lessons About God that Kids Can See
  7. Blessed Chiara Badano: Her Secrets to Happiness
  8. How Grandfather Tree Forgot His Stories
  9. The Night the Saints Saved Christmas
  10. The Light of Christmas Morning

The top 10 list for adults is really more than 10 titles (I grouped a few together!), but each has a place on your Christmas shopping list for the religious and spiritual adults in your life.

  1. God Plays a Purple Banjo and Jesus Wears Sock with Sandals and Jesus and the Barbecued Fish Breakfast: Jesus taught through stories . . . and here are a whole set of new—and humorous—ones for today’s world.
  2. We Are Beloved: Introduce a whole new generation to Servant of God Sr. Thea Bowman, one of the most impressive Catholic women of our time.
  3. Sharing the Wisdom of Time: You can never go wrong with Pope Francis.
  4. JOY: Just an amazingly beautiful book.
  5. The Wisdom Years and Let This Be the Time: Yes, I’m preoccupied with aging, but it is a reality in our culture and we need authors like these to help us understand what that means in the context of faith.
  6. Catholic Mother’s Planner 2022: Every overwhelmed, “I’m trying to find balance” Catholic mom should get this gift.
  7. Anything by Joyce Rupp—Constant Hope and Return to the Root: Sometimes, I am just your average Catholic fangirl. She’s a Catholic rock star. Enough said.
  8. The Gift of Cultural Hurricanes: Best image for a title. It resonates in so many ways.
  9. Better Than OK: Finding Joy as a Special Needs Parent: Share this personal story with the parents of special needs children in your life.
  10. Sweet Jesus, Is It June Yet?: Best. Title. Ever. (At least, one of the best!) Perfect gift for your children’s teachers.

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Therese Brown is the Executive Director of the Association of Catholic Publishers. She holds a master of arts degree in youth and liturgy from Catholic Theological Union in Chicago. She previously served as senior marketing specialist at United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Publishing Office. She is the author of Graced Moments: Prayer Services for the Lives of Teens (World Library Publications). She resides in the Baltimore area.

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