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Olivia's Gift Paperback – November 5, 2010


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Olivia's Gift + Olivia and the Little Way + The Gate
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 293 pages
  • Publisher: Harvey House Publishing (November 5, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0923568999
  • ISBN-13: 978-0923568993
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.4 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #93,744 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

If you want your children to have wholesome companions, then joyfully welcome Olivia into your home! While other contemporary literature focuses on the dark side, Nancy Carabio Belanger's heroine nourishes your children's souls and leaves them edified, energized, and enlivened to live our Catholic faith generously. --Colleen Hammond, author of Dressing With Dignity

With Olivia's Gift, talented author Nancy Carabio Belanger delivers another treat for young readers, and the young at heart who love them. You'll be entertained and inspired by this story of loving and serving others, which should be on the required reading list for every Catholic school. --Lisa M. Hendey, author of The Handbook for Catholic Moms

Parents looking for a book that...promotes wholesome Christian values and the Catholic faith will want to get their hands on Olivia's Gift. Pro-life values are subtly underscored in a moving chapter...and Olivia's turning to her favorite saint for help ultimately leads her to do the right thing, after taking a few wrong turns along the way. Even better, her example influences her friends to become better persons themselves. --San Antonio Today's Catholic

A story of the human spirit...offers a unique and fresh way to celebrate the life of St. Therese of Lisieux. --The Catholic Press Association of the United States and Canada

About the Author

Nancy Carabio Belanger has loved to write ever since she was a little girl. She used to write fiction stories in math class when she was supposed to be listening to the teacher, a practice she certainly does not recommend to her readers! She has a great love for Blessed Mother, St. Therese of Lisieux and St. Pio.  She says that Therese's Little Way is a reminder to us that we can all make little sacrifices to please God. Olivia and the Little Way is a 2009 Catholic Press Association book award winner, children's books. It is also a 2010 recipient of the Catholic Writers Guild Seal of Approval. The pro-life sequel to Olivia and the Little WayOlivia's Gift, has received the Catholic Writers Guild seal of Approval and is a 2011 Catholic Press Association book award winner.  The Gate is her third novel, and a first-place winner for Best Catholic Novel in the 2014 Catholic Press Association Book Awards. The novel celebrates the dignity of the Catholic priesthood and God's calling for each of us. Nancy graduated with degrees in English and journalism from Michigan State University. She is a member of the Catholic Press Association, the Independent Book Publishers Association, and the Catholic Writers Guild. Visit Nancy on the web at harveyhousepublishing.com or her blog at nancybelanger.blogspot.com.

More About the Author

Nancy Carabio Belanger has loved to write ever since she was a little girl. She used to write fiction stories in math class when she was supposed to be listening to the teacher, a practice she certainly does not recommend to her readers! She has a great love for St. Therese of Lisieux. She says that Therese's Little Way is a reminder to all of us who feel like we can do nothing, that we aren't old enough, smart enough, etc. We can all make little sacrifices to please God.

Olivia and the Little Way is a 2009 Catholic Press Association book award winner, children's books. It is also a 2010 recipient of the Catholic Writers Guild Seal of Approval.

The pro-life sequel to Olivia and the Little Way, Olivia's Gift, has received the Catholic Writers Guild seal of Approval. It is also a 2011 Royal Dragonfly award winner, as well as a 2011 Catholic Press Association book award winner.

Her newest Catholic novel for pre-teens is The Gate. It is a first-place winner for Best Catholic Novel in the Catholic Press Association 2014 Book Awards. It is also a recipient of the Catholic Writers Guild Seal of Approval. The story centers around the life of troublemaker and eighth grader Josh, whose teacher assigns him a pen-pal project. Josh meets Pie, a spunky senior citizen with a love of his Catholic faith, Saint John Bosco, and the New York Yankees. But much to Josh's surprise, Pie creates his own project for Josh, and Josh realizes that God has a plan--even for him. Lisa Hendey, author and creator of Catholicmom.com, says of The Gate: "A novel that inspires from the start, it's a gripping story of discernment and saying "yes" to God's marvelous grace."

Father Chris Pietraszko, a priest of the Diocese of London, Ontario, Canada says: "The book itself (The Gate) is a great promoter of vocations because it doesn't fall into what I might call sentimentalism. Rather, it takes a real-life situation and places Christ right into it. It shows how priests are human, and called to conversion, and how God leads them."

Nancy graduated with degrees in English and journalism from Michigan State University. When she is not writing, she works as a freelance proofreader. She lives with her husband and two sons in Michigan.

Nancy is a member of the Catholic Press Association, the Independent Book Publishers Association, and the Catholic Writers Guild.

Visit Nancy on the web at www.harveyhousepublishing.com or her blog at nancybelanger.blogspot.com.

Customer Reviews

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I can't wait to read the next book, and hope the story is made into a movie."
Michele E. Bottesi
I highly recommend that every parent with a daughter of reading age present her with a copy of Olivia's Gift.
Martha A. Cheves
I love the insistent emphasis on modesty and obedience, without preachy overtones.
Kathylee Johnson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Mary G on December 30, 2010
Format: Paperback
Nancy Belanger has followed up the success of Olivia and the Little Way with an even better story. Olivia's Gift tells the story of now-12-year-old Olivia and her friend Hayley and their summer journey to a better understanding of friendship, truth, and learning what is truly important and good. Along the way, the best friends lie and try to mold themselves to "fit in" with the "cool kids" only to discover the Truth: envy and covetousness and pride are never the answer.

Olivia and her family are given a beach house for a month and Olivia brings her best friend Hayley with her for this adventure. The two girls meet some kids at the beach who are "so cool" -- rich, smug, and very worldly -- and Olivia and Hayley get caught up in trying to keep up with these "beautiful people". What happens next is classic pre-teen angst but with the redeeming addition of healthy doses of Catholicism and relying on prayer and the saints' examples to solve problems.

This is a great read for all Catholic tweens/teens ... and the examination of conscience Olivia does is a wonderful example of how this age group can do a good confession without fear. I also appreciated the honest look at praying before the Blessed Sacrament and Olivia's admitting that sometimes it's just duty rather than love that brings her before the Lord.

Excellent, excellent, excellent! Teaches without preaching and very realistic consequences! Thank you, Ms. Belanger!
<hr >
I rec'd a copy of Olivia's Gift to evaluate for the Catholic Writers Guild. The above review is my honest opinion of this work of Catholic literature.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Lisa M. Hendey VINE VOICE on December 11, 2010
Format: Paperback
With "Olivia's Gift," talented author Nancy Carabio Belanger delivers another treat for young readers, and the young at heart who love them. You'll be entertained and inspired by this story, which should be on the required reading list for every Catholic elementary school. Moving beyond an engrossing plot, this book encourages the reader to look at the world around them and find ways to love and serve others. I highly recommend it for families, classrooms, community groups and anyone who loves a great, uplifting story.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Michelle on December 19, 2010
Format: Paperback
I give this story five stars for content because Olivia's Gift is a sweet story that pays beautiful homage to Saint Therese and because it provides a wonderful example of examination of conscience for any young girl to follow as Olivia faces the challenges of peer pressure and temptation.
-Michelle Buckman, author of Rachel's Contrition
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By betty wolf on March 15, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I enjoyed reading Olivia and the Little Way (prequel to Olivia's Gift) but I LOVED Olivia's Gift!! The author achieves the impossible: she wrote a non-preachy, lecture free story, focusing on the topic of MODESTY -- that would not GAG a young teen reader! I am giving this book and its prequal, to every 5th - 7th grade girl I know! (Read my review of Olivia and the Little Way for for more of what I think of Nancy Belanger's books. Please, Nancy, write more!!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Astrid on June 23, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is for any girl, it is very positive, and inspire to grow and understand the true love that it is necessary in life.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Diane M. Hanson on December 9, 2010
Format: Paperback
This is the delightful sequel to Nancy's first book for "tweens", Olivia and the Little Way. It is an excellent book highlighting the overall themes of morality, modesty, charity, and respect for the sanctity of life - framed by a strong Catholic faith and all woven into an entertaining and believable storyline that will keep the 8- to 12-year-old's nose buried between the pages start to finish.

Olivia's Michigan family goes on an extended summer vacation - a month at a beach house in Keane Harbor, NC - courtesy of a wealthy aunt and uncle in Texas. Olivia is allowed to bring best friend Haley, and the beach house turns out to be a multi-room mansion in a posh neighborhood of stately homes on the Atlantic coast.

Olivia soon learns that her father has been laid off from his job in Michigan with no sure return date, so the family must be careful about spending - a theme that will certainly resonate with many children in this economy. Olivia struggles with wants vs. needs, a desire to impress new wealthy friends, the seductive longing for "in" clothes that Olivia's mother and grandmother (also on vacation with the family) would certainly not approve and Olivia would not feel comfortable in anyway. She is torn between saving her money to sponsor a child in a foreign land and spending it on her wants. The wants win.

Nancy takes the reader inside the mind and thought processes of this good Catholic girl as she struggles with temptations, mistakes, falsehoods, friendships, disappointments, conscience, guilt, and the ultimate triumph of doing what is good and right.

Each chapter begins with a quote from St. Therese of Lisieux, and her "Little Way" is interwoven throughout the story.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Ellen Gable Hrkach VINE VOICE on December 9, 2010
Format: Paperback
Olivia's Gift is Nancy Carabio Belanger's delightful sequel to Olivia and the Little Way. It continues the story of Olivia Thomas and her family. Again, each chapter starts with a beautiful and relevant quote from St. Therese of Lisieux. Olivia, now 12 years old, continues to find it challenging following St. Therese's "The Little Way."

The novel begins with Olivia noticing an ad in the newspaper about a little poor girl in Guatemala. She resolves to count her pennies and be more frugal in order to save money to sponsor the girl. Olivia and her family are given an opportunity to stay at an expensive beach house in North Carolina for an entire month of the summer. Her grandmother and her friend, Hayley, join the family on their trip. On the first day there, Olivia and Hayley meet new acquaintances: Brooke, Brandon and Abby. Much to Hayley's dismay, Olivia tries to impress her new friends by lying about a variety of things.

Olivia soon becomes a mother's helper for the next door neighbor, Mrs. Duggan, who is pregnant and has a young toddler son named Danny. Circumstances cause Olivia and Hayley not only to re-evaluate their friendship with their new acquaintances, it also helps them to more deeply understand and appreciate the beautiful gift of life.

The climax which involves little Danny, Grandma and Olivia was so exciting that I was quickly turning pages to see what would happen next.

Again, Nancy Carabio Belanger has gifted the world of fiction with this gem. There are so many things I love about this wonderful book. Not only is it filled with pro-life metaphors, it also illustrates the sacred gift of life. It deals with many relevant issues pertinent to pre-teens and teens. I highly recommend Olivia's Gift to everyone, especially children and pre-teens.

Ellen Gable Hrkach
award-winning author
In Name Only
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