What is Love?

“Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” 

John 15:13

With Valentine’s Day on the horizon, these books on Overdrive may encourage you to read and discuss how God has loved us and how we can love others.

“So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”

1 Corinthians 13:13

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How Big is Love by Amy Parker (K-3)

“Mama, just how does love get so big?”Little Hedgehog is determined to understand just how love works. His curious questions will warm your heart, and his sweet story will remind you that love grows every time you give it away.Based on the important message of 1 Corinthians 13:13, the Faith, Hope, Love series will plant important seeds in children’s hearts. Don’t miss the other titles in the series: How Far Is Faith?, How High Is Hope?, and The Faith, Hope, Love Devotional.

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Franklin Says I Love You by Paulette Bourgeois (K-3)
In this Franklin Classic Storybook, our hero is a very lucky turtle. He has the best friends, the best little sister, the best goldfish, and, of course, the best mother. But when he discovers that his mother’s birthday is coming up, he can’t find the best present. After giving it some serious thought, Franklin decides to do everything for his mom. On the morning of her birthday he takes her breakfast in bed, makes a brooch, draws a picture, and cuts fresh flowers from the garden! And then Franklin gives his mom a great big hug and says, “I love you”—which is, of course, the best gift of all.

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Jacob I Have Loved by Katherine Patterson (4-8) and Literature Study

“Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated . . .” With her grandmother’s taunt, Louise knew that she, like the biblical Esau, was the despised elder twin. Caroline, her selfish younger sister, was the one everyone loved.

Growing up on a tiny Chesapeake Bay island in the early 1940s, angry Louise reveals how Caroline robbed her of everything: her hopes for schooling, her friends, her mother, even her name. While everyone pampered Caroline, Wheeze (her sister’s name for her) began to learn the ways of the watermen and the secrets of the island, especially of old Captain Wallace, who had mysteriously returned after fifty years. The war unexpectedly gave this independent girl a chance to fulfill her childish dream to work as a watermen alongside her father. But the dream did not satisfy the woman she was becoming. Alone and unsure, Louise began to fight her way to a place where Caroline could not reach.

Renowned author Katherine Paterson here chooses a little-known area off the Maryland shore as her setting for a fresh telling of the ancient story of an elder twin’s lost birthright.

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“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.”

1 Corinthians 4-8

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Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte (9-12)

Jane Eyre is raised in her aunt’s house after the death of her parents. Her aunt cannot stand the queer, quiet child and sends her off to a spartan boarding school where she is severely mistreated. She survives, however, and eventually finds herself a situation as a governess in the household of Edward Rochester. She and Rochester fall passionately in love, in one of the great literary love stories. But a dark secret in his house will tear them apart and send her alone into the wilderness before she can find her way back to him.

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Mama, I’ll Give You the World by Roni Schotter (K-3)

Exquisite artwork and an exceptionally tender text showcase the special bond between a mother and her daughter. Every day after school, Luisa goes to Walter’s World of Beauty to watch her mama work–cutting, coloring, and curling customers’ hair. Before they go home, Mama puts her tip money in a special envelope for Luisa–for college. She wants to give Luisa the world! But Luisa has a plan of her own. For Mama’s birthday, Luisa wants to give Mama the world. . . . This touching story of a loving child and a single, hard-working mother is sure to be a favorite of families everywhere.

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The Railway Children by Edith Nesbit (4-8)

When Father is taken away unexpectedly, Roberta, Peter, Phyllis, and their mother have to leave their comfortable life in London to go and live in a small cottage in the country. The children seek solace in the nearby railway station, and make friends with Perks the Porter and the Station Master himself. Each day, Roberta, Peter, and Phyllis run down the field to the railway track and wave at the passing London train, sending their love to Father. Little do they know that the kindly old gentleman passenger who waves back holds the key to their father’s disappearance.

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The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett (4-8)

Mary Lennox is born in India. She is a sickly, sallow child, whose parents hide her away with her Ayah. After her parents die in a cholera outbreak she is sent to live in Yorkshire with her uncle. She is, once more, left mostly to herself. Her uncle still mourns his beautiful wife ten years after her death, and seeks to escape his grief by traveling. When a chambermaid tells Mary about her mistress’s garden, which her master locked up on her death, Mary is determined to find it. Bit by bit, as the garden comes back to life, so do the lives of those around her begin to mend.

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Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen (9-12)

When Mr. Dashwood dies, he leaves his second wife and her three daughters at the mercy of his son and heir, John. John’s wife convinces him to turn his step-mother and half-sisters out, and they move to a country cottage, rented to them by a distant relative. In their newly reduced circumstances Elinor and Marianne, the two eldest daughters, wrestle with ideas of romance and reality and their apparent opposition to each other. Elinor struggles in silent propriety, while Marianne is as violently romantic as her ideals. Life, however, teaches the girls to balance sense and sensibility in their approach to love and marriage.

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”

John 3:16

Reviews by Overdrive

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