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Not just about saints

Catholic book fair at St. Jerome School draws all ages, many interests

FORT LAUDERDALE | Who knew that Catholic books were so much more than Bibles and saints’ biographies?

Ryan Alvarez, a St. Jerome fourth grader, shown here with his mother, Carolyn Alvarez, said they were delighted to find a Catholic-centric book about a hockey player at the first ever “Good News! Book Fair.”

Photographer: LISA BROWNE BANIC | FC

Ryan Alvarez, a St. Jerome fourth grader, shown here with his mother, Carolyn Alvarez, said they were delighted to find a Catholic-centric book about a hockey player at the first ever “Good News! Book Fair.”

Lizette Lantigua, of St. Mark Church in Southwest Ranches, had a big turnout for her first “Good News! Book Fair,” held May 26 atSt. Jerome School in Fort Lauderdale. The book fair featured many top Catholic publishers along with Christian-themed music, posters, jewelry and clothing. 

Lantigua, a freelance reporter for the Florida Catholic, is herself the author of a Catholic-themed, spy thriller, historical fiction book for young readers. “I realized that (secular) books for teens were really gloomy and inappropriate, and not really inspiring,” she said. “That led me to publish my book in 2012.”

Dozens of adults and kids alike stood in line to buy either Lantigua’s autographed novel, “Mission Libertad,” or one of the hundreds of faith-based books on topics such as cooking, sports, Christian fiction or mystery.

“People might be surprised to read books about saints who were just like you or me,” said Katherine Lantigua, who takes after her parents in their love of reading. 

“Did you know St. John Paul II was a skier and was told it was ‘unbefitting a bishop to ski?’” Katherine said. “In this book about him, he replied, ‘It is unbefitting to ski badly.’”

Ryan Alvarez, a St. Jerome fourth grader said, “Can I have that, mom?” as he pointed to a colorful black and orange basketball poster with emblazoned words, “I can do all things through Christ…” 

His mother, Carolyn Alvarez said, “Look at this book he chose. I am surprised to find a book about hockey of all things. But I am excited because we found it here.”

These Catholic book fairs have something for everyone — from picture books for kids to mystery and drama series for teens, and as well as resources for teachers and a wide variety of sports, cooking and art books.

“Our vision is to evangelize through fun and inspiring stories,” said Adolfo Lantigua, Lizette’s husband and “Good News! Book Fair” business partner. “I hope these books can help us learn and understand our faith.”

Kathy Murray, St. Jerome’s media specialist, said she had coordinated many book fairs but that this one was unique because it is the first Catholic-centric one. 

“At St. Jerome, the church does not have a little book store. So the titles available came from publishers most people had not seen before, unless they were actively seeking them. The response was very positive and I am excited about having this again next year.”

FIND OUT MORE
  • Those interested in scheduling a fair at their church or school should contact Lizette or Adolfo Lantigua at 954-252-0178; or email Liz@goodnewsbookfair.com.

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