Thursday, November 19, 2009

Favorite Advent Books

Eight years ago I came across the book Jotham's Journey, while browsing the CBD catalog. I ordered the book and we read it for Advent. It was an instant hit with the entire family. We read Bartholomew's Passage the next year, and Tabitha's Travels the following year. Each book stands alone, but the characters in the books overlap. The title characters are children around 10 years old who live in the time of Jesus' birth. Each child ends up getting separated from his/her family and sets out on an adventure to be reunited with them. Along the way the children meet Shepherds, wise men, innkeepers, Zachariah and Elizabeth, and end up at the manger when Jesus is born on Christmas morning. The books are Advent readings so are broken into sections to be read each day. Many times the story for the day ends as a cliffhanger and my kids always beg to read another part. There is a very bad villain that keeps the stories interesting, especially for boys.

These books give a flavor of the world that Jesus was born into. How some people longed for him and felt his birth would be soon, and others thought it was a far off event. It makes it all much more real for children, and the excitement for each evening's reading is priceless.

After we read the trilogy the first time, I thought we would try something else for Advent. That is known as the year without Jotham, and no one enjoyed it. So, we just read one of them every year. This will be our third year reading Bartholomew's Passage. As the children get older, they remember more of the story, but still look forward to reading it every night during Advent. The younger children don't remember it, so they are waiting with excitement to see what happens next.

Several yeas ago I mentioned these books at a Christmas party for home school moms. When the ladies looked for the books the next year, they were out of print. Well, last year they re-released Jotham, Bartholomew has been re-released this year, and Tabitha will be next year.

My almost 11 year old is anxiously awaiting the start of Advent this year. We have a new advent wreath with candles to try out, and our book is waiting. I can't wait either!

This is linking to Things I Love Thursday at The Diaper Diaries.


  1. Thank you! I will be ordering these ASAP!

  2. I've never read these books, but I have heard of them. I wish my kids were younger sometimes. lol

    By the way I love your blog title. It reminds me of a book I read by Patsy Clairmont titled "Normal Is Just a Setting on Your Dryer" If you haven't read this, it is very good!

  3. I have never heard of these!! How cool. What ages would you recommend them for?

  4. Diaper Diaries-
    All the kids have always listened to the books and we started when the oldest was 8 years old, so we have always had little ones listening as well. I would guess that when they are 7-8 is when they really understand and "get" the story, and the older ones continue to love them as well.

  5. Thanks so much for this tidbit. Remember I told you I thought the were gettting a bit old for me to read to them? Well we have skipped it this year and let me tell you I have missed it and I think our schooling has suffered from it. There is a connected feeling. Even though I think they are a bit old for them I think the thought behind them is there.
    By the way I love the new pic's of the kids. Padme's turned out so fabulous.
    Missing you down here

  6. Reading silently and aloud as a family is our very favorite past time. We are always looking for good material. I will be checking these out right now... Than has a birthday next week.




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