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Olivia's Gift Paperback – November 5, 2010

5.0 out of 5 stars 24 customer reviews

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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.
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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 (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #80,947 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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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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I loved this story, the follow-up to Olivia and the Little Way. Mrs. Belanger tells the story so tenderly, and with such understanding of the difficulty of being a preteen, especially nowadays. The way she applies the wisdom of St. Therese to a child's life and decision-making is real and believable, as is Olivia herself. I love the insistent emphasis on modesty and obedience, without preachy overtones. It's a delightful, loving story, and I do hope we'll be hearing more from Olivia soon. I have a nine-year-old daughter who loves to read, and I know that she will find sure-footed companions in both Olivia and St. Therese!
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I liked this book a little bit more than the first. This book is wonderful!!!!!! I can't wait to read the next book and the next and the next... I agree with someone else who wrote a review who said she thinks it should be made into a movie and I totally agree! I would love it if this book and Olivia and the Little Way could be made into a movie! That would be cool! Anyway, Olivia and her parents, little sister, grandma and one of her friends go on a vacation of a life time. I've been to the beach in N.C. and I almost felt like I was there with Olivia. The waves crashing down on the sandy beach. The wonderful softness of the sand between my toes, the nice breeze, it was all so real! I recommend this book to everyone! Please read it and don't forget to read Olivia and the Little Way also!
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I second every other great review for this book as well as those for the prequel, "Olivia and the Little Way." I had purchased the prequel for my then 10-year -old daughter after seeing it advertised in a Catholic Home school catalog. We read it together (a chapter a night) and just LOVED it. Of course, when we found there was a sequel, it was a no-brainer to purchase it. Again, we read this one together. We loved this one even more! The story is not only engaging, but the writing is so well done with dialogue befitting tweens. Nothing corny or sappy about it! The dialogue between the two best friends flows so well and it is so spot-on with what twelve-year-olds would say to each other. Don't worry, though, there is nothing introduced in this book that you would cringe to read. It is done so sweetly and is chock-full of lessons in virtue, following the commandments and practicing your Catholic faith. The examination of conscience is excellent and girls will relate to Olivia's 'fear' of confession. What's a bonus is that the author, Nancy - no doubt by the immense graces she has received from Above - presents it all so graciously that the book becomes an invaluable tool for helping your daughter to deal with situations plaguing young girls. Oh, and the parents (and Grandmother) in these books are portayed as they should be: intelligent, supportive and involved, which is so unlike most kids books these days in which the parents are portrayed as out of touch, uncaring and dumb.

I'll just add that Olivia's devotion of St. Therese can't do anything but spawn at least a curiosity to learn more about this saint and help girls to realize that the saints are there to be called upon by all...even tweens! My daughter is now reading "The Story of a Soul".

Just an all-around winner! God bless Nancy and may He continue to shower His graces on her for her use of her God-given talent for writing books that contribute to the Greater Glory!
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