We all love stories of saints. In some traditions, we use other terms to describe these figures, but they're basically men, women and in rare cases children who show heroic spiritual goodness -- often in the face of great danger.
Texas-based Kathryn Mitchell Lucchese, who has a doctorate in cultural geography and has spent years working with school children, has just handed us all a tremendous gift. At her school, she began reading aloud a weekly story of a saint, which she carefully edited for maximum impact and, in some cases, to soften the violent edge a bit for her younger students' ears. These became very popular. She did this year after year and, now, in a great big paperback book by Morehouse Publishing, she offers her stories to all of us.
She organizes the book for Christian educators to use once a week in a school year that stretches from August to mid-June. She matches these saints nicely with their annual observances in the Christian liturgical calendar. For example, St. Nicholas falls in her early December readings just as St. Nick's saint day falls each year on December 6. As a good educator and geographer, Lucchese even adds a couple of dozen maps to the back of her book, so you can show kids exactly where each saint lived.
Of course, as a parent myself, I can tell you this book shouldn't be limited to classrooms. It's great for parents to read aloud!