Mother Teresa


Book - 2005

A biography of Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu, known as Mother Teresa, who spent most of her life serving "the poorest of the poor" in Calcutta, India.

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Children's Room jBIOGRAPHY/Teresa Due Jun 13, 2024
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Review by Booklist Review

Gr. 3-5. Demi has done several picture-book biographies of religious figures, but this one seems to have a special fervor. Perhaps it's because of the reverence Demi feels for her subject. Or maybe it's the Apostolic Blessing from Pope John Paul II reproduced on the back cover. In any case, Demi artistically captures the nun's mission, especially in her use of Christian and Indian decorative motifs to enhance the gritty reality of India and its poor. However, Demi seems so enamored of her subject that she piles on the facts, leading to a text that is slowed by its weight. There are dramatic moments, as when young Agnes hears the call to religious life or awakens to the disease and misery around her. But gospel quotes aren't always well integrated, and there's too much about financial donations and what they bought. The square, framed pictures, with touches of illumination, demand several looks to appreciate the tragedies and glories that are displayed. --Ilene Cooper Copyright 2005 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

Consummate biographer for children Demi (Muhammad; The Dalai Lama) turns her pen and paints to the world-renowned nun who committed her life to serving the poorest of the poor in God's name. In her clear, concise style, Demi chronicles how young Agnes Bojaxhiu left her family in Albania when she was called to her vocation at a tender age and that she took the name Teresa after the patron saint of missionaries. Mother Teresa's subsequent work in India and around the globe treating the sick, homeless, dying and unloved earned her recognition and accolades, though "always one to practice deep humility, Mother Teresa was reluctant to be singled out and given such honors." Demi crafts a solid portrait of a selfless and devoutly faithful woman and her trust in Divine Providence. However, given the nun's many accomplishments, Demi resorts to making lists of Mother Teresa's endeavors, her many awards and honors, and even the complicated, though fascinating, requirements for the woman to attain sainthood in the Catholic Church. (In 2003, the pope beatified her, which is a key step in the process.) The illustrations, like their subject, emit a humble tone, offering a glimpse of devastatingly impoverished communities and the people suffering in them. Images of Mother Teresa tending to a leper, cradling a baby or jumping rope with a child speak volumes about the grace and kindness she shared with the world. Prayers and writings of Mother Teresa appear throughout, and an official blessing from the pope adorns the back cover, helping to make this a fine celebration of her life. Ages 7-10. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Review by School Library Journal Review

Gr 2-5-This informative and eloquent biography highlights the key moments in the life of the diminutive but determined nun and the ongoing quest to have her canonized. In clear, readable prose and richly colored paint-and-ink illustrations adorned with decorative gold-leaf borders, Demi conveys Mother Teresa's innate goodness and religious devotion while recounting the story of her inspiring accomplishments on behalf of the "poorest of the poor." The narrative focuses on Mother Teresa's experiences coming to the aid of countless unfortunate, diseased, orphaned, and forgotten citizens around the world; describes the far-reaching work of her order, the Missionaries of Charity; and concludes with the many humanitarian honors and awards bestowed upon her. Every element of this lovely book reflects Mother Teresa's simple message of service, including the endpapers, which feature her words of wisdom enclosed in frames of kneeling Missionaries of Charity in their trademark white-and-blue saris. An elegantly executed title.-Linda L. Walkins, Mount Saint Joseph Academy, Brighton, MA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Horn Book Review

(Intermediate) Demi's biography is distinguished by its attention, in both words and pictures, to Mother Teresa's faith. While documenting Teresa's innumerable good works and indefatigable dedication, Demi always brings the deeds back to their holy purpose, as when Teresa clarifies the mission of her order of nuns: ""All we do -- our prayer, our work, our suffering -- is for Jesus. Our life has no other reason or motivation."" Quotes from the Bible and from Mother Teresa's prayers effectively complement the continuous, generally chronological, text. Demi's miniaturist style is also, for the most part, effective in capturing Teresa's life among the ""poorest of the poor,"" although the artist's characteristic tidiness is sometimes at odds with the disease and squalor described in the text. The pictures are better, and more imaginative, at conveying Teresa's religious life and piety, as in the use of golden lines of light to depict God's blessings. Supplemental material includes a list of awards and honors, a map pinpointing locations of Teresa's missions around the world, a list of text references, and a sometimes theologically shaky (saying that saints are ""worshipped,"" for example) account of the campaign to canonize her. (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Kirkus Book Review

From the kneeling supplicant on the front cover, surrounded by apostolic figures within an ornate cross, to the author's Papal blessing on the back, this is the most pious yet of Demi's profiles of our greatest spiritual touchstones. In a text that mixes specific biographical details with poems, prayers, and biblical passages, she follows Mother Teresa from childhood in what was then Yugoslavia to the inner call that sent her into a religious order in India. (She took her name from St. Teresa of Lisieux, "about whom it was said she did no great things--only small things with great love.") Then the "call within a call" turned her from teaching to working with and for the poorest for the rest of her life. Demi caps her work with a long list of Mother Teresa's international honors and a prÉcis of current efforts to secure her sainthood that are likely to lose younger readers. And she illustrates with golden-framed art that, for all its characteristic grandeur and delicacy, fails to capture the squalor of the slums in which she worked, or to give immediacy to her day to day contact with the diseased and desperate. But her faith, her message, and the force of her personality come through with superb clarity. (bibliography, map) (Picture book/biography. 9-12) Copyright ©Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.