Amy Welborn's Book of Saints


Amy Welborn's Book of Saints

I just wanted to share with everyone a brief review of a very nice book I just came by St. Blog's own Ms. Welborn, who has a number of these (I think) published by Loyola press. The one I have is a hardbound book called Book of Saints. It is a very nicely written book for, I imagine, the middle school to perhaps early high-school crowd. Readability does not strike me as high, so home-schooled fourth and fifth graders may be able to get a good deal from reading it. After a general introduction, Ms. Welborn produces some short lives of saints. They are divided into categories designed to be high interest and motivate reading. For example, "Saints are people who surprise others" includes St. Simeon Stylites, St. Celestine V, St. Joan of Arc, and St. Catherine of Siena. "Saints are people who create" includes St. Hildegard of Bingen and St. John of the Cross among others. There are 15 such categories with 4-6 saints in each category making for a total of about 66 saints covered--some aggregates, such as the Martyrs of Compèigne.

The writing is eloquent and simple without being condescending. Each biography starts with an "interest grabber" to encourage the child to read on. Each ends with a very brief summary statement that wraps up the point of the small biography presented. The biographies themselves run no more than 4-5 pages, making them suitable for all readers. I can see a myriad of interesting religion lessons coming from books so well constructed. The writing itself suggests a number of different creative writing and expository writing assignments. For example, within a cluster, it would be interesting to choose two of your favorites and compare and contrast their lives. What does this tell you about God's grace in the lives of saints.

For those of you with school-age children at home, you would do well to consider such marvelous books as gifts. God-fathers and God-mothers these would make excellent presents for any occasion.

I hope and pray Ms. Welborn continues the wonderful work that I see in these books. Normally, I don't plug things, but given that this is one of our own parishioners, and on her blogsite she doesn't seem to do a lot of self promotion--or else it gets lost in the commotion, I thought I'd give you an outsider's point of view.

One thing I would suggest for future editions, companion books, or similar books (and it may already be available) are lesson plans including writing possibilities, strengthening reading comprehension, and other craft and art related lessons that could be derived from these short biographies.

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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on September 22, 2002 4:58 PM.

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