Catholic Schools Week

This week is Catholic Schools Week.  Not only have I survived Catholic school, I’ve got the T-shirt.  Seriously.  My aunt’s advertising company did the Catholic Schools Week campaign in the past, before she retired, and she gave me one of the promotional T-shirts.  It’s a little too small, but I’ve kept it for sentimental reasons.

The first time I encountered a children’s book (other than Madeline) that featured Catholic school students was in a public school library.  I tried to track down that one for this list, but we don’t seem to own it.  We own quite a few others set in Catholic schools, though.  The schools and the stories are all over the map: real schools, imaginary schools, various time periods and a few different countries, day schools, boarding schools, teen books, picture books, hopeful and inspiring people and places  and buildings that might as well have “Abandon hope all ye who enter here” over the door.


The Loud Silence of Francine Green by Karen Cushman

(So far, I have only read this author’s medieval books; this one is set in the U.S. during the Red Scare.)


Molly McGinty Has a Really Good Day by Gary Paulsen

(It’s shocking, but your children’s librarian has only read one Gary Paulsen book so far.  Not this one.  This is about a girl who loses her very organized list of how her day is supposed to go.)


Knucklehead by Jon Scieszka

(I don’t know if this one has his story about the straightened-out paperclip, the electrical outlet, and school assembly… but I hope it does.)


Living Up the Street by Gary Soto
(Gary Soto’s poetry collection features Catholic school, summer school, church, and the rest of the neighborhood.)


London Calling by Edward Bloor

(This one has a fantasy element involving two different generations communicating through an old-fashioned radio.)


The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
(This has to be the most-banned title on the list.  I really must read it some day.)

Syndetics Cover Image
Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans

(As a kid, I always wondered why the students call their teacher “Miss Clavel” when she’s clearly a nun.  Is that just how nuns are addressed in France?)

The Great Brain at the Academy by John D. Fitzgerald
(No picture for this one, I’m afraid.  But you can’t cover this topic without a good story involving Jesuits.)


Sister Anne’s Hands by Maribeth Loribiecki

(Most school integration stories for children feature students who are doing the integrating.  In this case, while told from a student’s perspective, the focus is on the teacher.  Sister Anne is the first African-American some of her students have ever met, and she makes a big impression.)


School in Grandma’s Day by Valerie Weber

(A grandmother tells about attending both public and Catholic schools in the 1940s.)


Firegirl by Tony Abbott

(A girl transfers to Catholic school while she is receiving treatment at a nearby hospital for serious burns.)


Run from the Nun!
by Erin MacLellan

(A girl who is NOT happy about being in Catholic school decides to get herself kicked out.)

Gold Dust by Chris Lynch
(Richard hopes his new classmate will be welcomed in their Catholic school, and will learn to love baseball as much as Richard himself.)


Bring Me the Head of Oliver Plunkett by Colin Bateman

(The head of St. Oliver Plunkett has been stolen from the local cathedral, and Eddie and Co. are out to find it.  Is this a uniquely Catholic problem, or what?)

Kitty from the Start by Judy Delton
(Kitty is the new girl in school in this prequel to the Kitty series.)


Leap of Faith by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

(Abigail has to go to a new, Catholic, school since she was expelled from her old one.  Unexpectedly, she finds she has a talent for theater and even some faith.)


The Red Blazer Girls by Michael D. Beil

(Three schoolgirl friends solve a mysterious puzzle.)


Walking to School by Eve Bunting
(A girl starting school in Northern Ireland finds adult prejudice frightening–especially when she sees it in her own uncle–but when a Protestant girl reaches out to her it gives her some hope.)


Twenty and Ten by Claire Huchet Bishop

(Students at a Catholic school help hide a group of Jewish children during the Nazi occupation of France.  This is the book on which the movie Miracle at Moreaux was based.)

Snow Day by Moira Fain
(A student gets a little more time to work on her assignment, and the nuns get to go sledding, when school is cancelled due to snow.)

So did I leave a favorite book of yours off the list?  If you know of one I should have mentioned, please let me know!  -Miss Sarah

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