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Chalk another one up to Pauline Press and their “Encounter the Saints” Series.
In St. John Neumann: Missionary to Immigrants, Laura Rhoderica Brown, FSP, provides a wonderful introduction to the patron saint of immigrants and sick children.
The book is geared towards kids between the ages of 8 and 11, and I’d say that is just about right. Not that I didn’t enjoy it also! I did! In fact, I was so absorbed by the book that I sat and read it one morning; all 136 pages.
St. John Neumann: Missionary to Immigrants is divided into short, readable chapters. The font is a nice, large size, appropriate for early readers and those struggling to really enjoy chapter books. Also, there are full page, black and white illustrations throughout the text. The illustrations, I might add, are just lovely. They are neither cloyingly sweet nor caricatures.
The book, as you would expect, covers the life of Saint John Neumann from when he was just 10 years old and reading a lot and asking even more questions, to his death in Philadelphia at age 49. Additionally, there are a few paragraphs covering his beatification and canonization.
Finally, the book has a nice little glossary of terms in the back should your reader, like me, need help understanding what an Ad Limina visit is, or just wants to look up other Catholic terms used in the book.
This is an engaging book, for sure. I happen to love all of these type of saint books. They are great for their intended audience, for sure. However I find them incredibly useful for older readers as well; confirmandi researching patron possibilities, for example, or adults looking or brief introductions to saints they are interested in becoming acquainted with.
In any case, you can’t go wrong with Saint John Neumann: Missionary to Immigrants!
Note: I received a complimentary copy of this book in the hope that I would provide a (favorable) review. Complimentary books are not necessarily good books, though. My opinions are my own.