Tag Archives: Catholic

Making the World More Beautiful: A Review of ‘Miss Rumphius’

Suggested Grade Level:

Kindergarten -2nd Grade

Review and Thoughts

 “You must do something to make the world more beautiful.”

This was the advice given to the main character, Alice, by her very wise grandfather.  Alice was just a little girl with big dreams, but she took his advice to heart and made it the third goal she hoped to achieve in her lifetime.  But she wasn’t sure exactly how she would do that.

When she grew up she traveled and experienced marvelous sites, adventures, and friendships.  She lived happily by the sea.  “She was almost happy.”  It took Alice a long time to discover how to accomplish her third goal – the challenge given to her by her grandfather.  As an old woman living by the sea Alice saw that the little garden next to her house had scattered its seeds to new and surprising locations.  She saw the beauty and it renewed her effort to spread this beauty.   She began to scatter handfuls of seeds wherever she walked.  The next spring exploded with lupine beauty.  The promise to her grandfather was accomplished.  She had made the world more beautiful. Continue reading Making the World More Beautiful: A Review of ‘Miss Rumphius’

Conquered by Love: A Review of ‘Left to Tell’

“Darkness can only be scattered by light, hatred can only be conquered by love.” —Saint Pope John Paul II

Suggested Grade Levels:

Grade 9-12

Review and Thoughts

Truly, Left to Tell is one of the greatest books I have ever read, not only from the perspective of a teacher, but also from the perspective of a young Catholic woman.  This book has touched me more than any other Catholic nonfiction because of the simple and innocent testimony of Immaculee Ilibagiza.

This book tells the story of Immaculee and her family who are devout Catholics living in Rwanda during the 1994 genocide.  She is a member of the Tutsi tribe that is mercilessly hunted and murdered by the Hutus during what is one of the most devastating genocides in modern history.  Immaculee is fortunate enough to find a hiding place with a nearby Christian minister and lives in his private bathroom with seven other woman.  It is through her prayer and faith in God coupled with the bravery and charity of the pastor that she is able to survive and emerge from the bathroom a whole woman both physically and mentally. Continue reading Conquered by Love: A Review of ‘Left to Tell’