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Poetry, illustrations, more help ring in children's Christmas reading


This is the cover of "Tell Me about the Catholic Faith for Small Children" by Christine Pedotti. The book is reviewed by Regina Lordan. (CNS)

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WASHINGTON (CNS) -- The following books are suitable for Christmas giving:

"I Lived on Butterfly Hill" by Marjorie Agosin. Atheneum Books for Young Readers (New York, 2014). 455 pp., $16.99.

Lucila has a good life: a loving family, close friends and a home in her cherished hill city of Valparaiso, Chile. But her sense of security quickly crumbles when political turmoil turns violent. Classmates disappear and her parents flee for safety. Then her grandmother, a refugee from Nazi Germany, sends Lucila to Vermont. Now a refugee, Lucia must overcome language barriers, homesickness and anxiety. But Lucila triumphs, finding inner strength in her creative writing and will to flourish. Author Marjorie Agosin, who was raised in Chile by Jewish parents, wrote a story of survival particularly of interest to preteen girls. Full of many meaningful messages, the novel will remind readers to welcome "the new kid in class" with patience and understanding. Ages 10-14.

"Manger" poems selected by Lee Bennett Hopkins, illustrated by Helen Cann. Eerdmans Books for Young Readers (Grand Rapids, Michigan, 2014). 34 pp., $16.

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