by Ethel Pochocki
These are the saints books recommended by Mater Amabilis for Level 1B (first grade) and they are marvelous. The stories are not meant to be biographical but instead inspirational. In fact, she includes some saints like Christopher, who are probably best viewed as great moral tales rather than stories of true people.
The stories do not include dates or even specific country names unless they are immediately relevant to the story. Instead, the focus is on the meaning of the saints' actions. We often hear just a little of their story, enough to glean something of importance and relevance to the young people. The author talks through the story to the children in an wonderful way, as if she were sitting in the living room with us. She encourages them to learn from the saints, to apply their lessons in our lives today.
The short tales are a good length for narration. First Son struggled, of course, because he's quite terrible at narrating. First Daughter, however, did wonderfully, so I know some children will.
We will be reading some of these saint stories again this coming year with our history studies. I am looking forward to continuing to share them with the children.