Mater Amabilis recommends this book for Easter reading in the second year of Level 2 (fifth grade). It is centered on the life of St. Catherine Laboure from her childhood through her life in the convent, telling of how Mary appeared to her. Later, it introduces other Marian apparitions as Sister Catherine may have heard of them from visitors and fellow religious. Through it all, the author weaves together the apparitions to reveal a common thread, a recurring theme that speaks to a young reader.
The visions included are those of La Salette, Lourdes, Pomain, and Fatima. All of these are approved by the Vatican. (The pages on the Marian apparitions at The Miracle Hunter are excellent resources.)
Obviously, someone who is not Catholic would not share this book with his or her children, but even Catholics may hesitate. The damage done by false reports of apparitions is real, as Simcha Fisher recently said better than I could. Distraction from Jesus and what he is calling us to do, even at a site of real visions and miracles, can be damaging. Finally, I always wonder if a heightened focus on Marian apparitions will be perceived as further evidence by Protestants that Catholics worship Mary. (We don't; or at least, we shouldn't.)
I debated a little with myself and Kansas Dad before assigning this book to First Son. While some Marian apparitions have been deemed worthy of belief (as have all of the ones described in this book), no Catholic is required to believe any of them. I did assign it, but did not require narrations. Because it was after Easter, we were also at the end of the school year and I knew he would read it quickly.
I read this book along with him and enjoyed it myself. The tone reminds me of A Life of Our Lord for Children (which I love).
We must ask for that peace. This is prayer. And, of course, we must do penance...Our Lord Himself told her, "It is penitence alone that will bring peace to the world." And then He went on to say just how we should go about achieving this. He only wishes that each person do his simple and honest daily tasks as best he can, accepting all the trials and bothers along the way.The apparitions themselves are not exactly the focus; it's more on the people involved and how they tried to live as Jesus called them to do so. Overall, a decent book, but one I think you could skip (especially in a school year with a late Easter) without too much worry.
Amazon links are affiliate links. I purchased this book used on Amazon.