Despite the Utopian spring day, what I overheard from the girls bedroom amid the sounds of squealing and shouts of "MO-OM…she won’t give it back to me!" and "Mooooooooom! I want to read it!"…"No, I am up to the BEST part where they…"…"No, I am at the climax of the action, I can’t stop now!!" sounded like some battle from Narnia! Louder and louder the din crescendoed till finally I was able to eyeball the scoundrels in the top bunk wrestling with each other and a book.
"WHAT is going on?! We spring cleaned the bookshelves yesterday and they found one of their beloved treasures:
The Mitchells: Five for Victory
and both twins claimed ownership. "For the love of that dear author…say a prayer for that dear lady and my peace of mind!" Feeling somewhat like Solomon, I had to confiscate the book …went into my room…shut the door…just took a peek at the book and accidentally started reading…they should get tired of pounding on the door anytime now….
I think what we find in the pages of this and her other books is something rare…SOMEONE with whom we can identify…a special lady that has a cherished secret that can be found and embraced in living a famly-centered life!
We love to read our way through history…it has made it come ALIVE for us! We use the lists at Bethlehem books and Love 2 Learn.
All of Hilda Van Stockum books are a hit here…most especially these family-centered books!:
These two books are the second and third book in the Mitchell’s series….all three of which take place in America during WWII and show great spirit, family unity and old-fashioned family values in a large family even amid difficult circumstances:
This series of three books takes place in 1930’s and offer a wonderful view of family life in Ireland:
The Cottage at Bantry Bay
Francie on the Run
And these next three take place during WWII:
The Winged Watchman
The Borrowed House
and just for fun…for the Christmas basket!
The Angel’s Alphabet
Many of her books are out of print and are a treasure to find!
Did you know she was a Montessori instructor in New York in 1934?? Here is another article about her work! It LOOKS like it is written by her granddaughter. It is a great article about catholic formation and Hilda Van Stockum’s books…especially wonderful is this quote:
"The argument of this paper is that Hilda van Stockum’s novels provide a welcome antidote to the anti-Catholic slant of most modern children’s literature in two ways. First, they embrace the “culture of life” and promote the virtue of sacrifice required to sustain this culture. Second, they uphold the value of the Catholic sacraments, showing them to be indispensable sources of grace as well as the ultimate celebrations of our lives. For all this, her novels are never preachy or moralistic, and thus may reach children’s hearts in ways that teaching texts or sermons may not."
We do love you Hilda Van Stockum…thank you for sharing your gift of storytelling with us!!
Hilda Van Stockum’s wedding 1932
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