This review was written by Cathy Duffy who has reviewed many books and continues to give talks to many groups. We hope it helps you to learn more about our books.
In the Footsteps of the Saints Series
Mary’s Books has reprinted many biographies of saints along with stories of other holy men and women that were formerly from Dujarie Press Saints and Famous Catholics Biographies series. The biographies are reprinted as paperbacks with black-and-white illustrations. They are relatively inexpensive, and you can save by purchasing them in sets. Books are very well written by a few different authors and will probably serve best as read alouds. I very much appreciate the inclusion of less well-known saints that you might not encounter anywhere else. Many of these will tie in very well read in conjunction with historical periods you are studying.
The biographies are divided into two levels with a third level under production. Level 1 books are about 32 pages in length with quite a few black-and-white illustrations (one illustration every four pages). While they are easier to read than level 2 books and they feature a large font size, the vocabulary is still rather challenging. Since these are biographies, names of real people and places are used, and some of those will be challenging for even adults to pronounce. There are about fifty books available in the series thus far. A sampling of some of the saints whose stories are told in level 1 books: St. Therese, St. Anthony, St. Bernadette, St. Rita, St. Germaine, St. Simon Stock, St. Stanislaus Kostka, St. Wenceslaus, St. Margaret of Scotland, St. Dominic, and St. Hyacinth.
Level 2 biographies increase to about 96 pages each. They have fewer illustrations and larger pages, but the font size remains the same as for level 1. Sentence structure is a little more complex and vocabulary a little more difficult. These are interesting enough that I enjoy reading them as an adult, yet children around fourth and fifth grade might be able to read them independently with a little help with names of people and places. Even if children are able to read them independently, they make splendid read-aloud books for the family to enjoy together. Twenty-five titles are available thus far with five more due soon. Some of the holy men and women of God we learn about in level 2 books are: St. Perpetua, St. Maximilian Kolbe, St. Rose of Lima, Fra Angelico, Father Abram Ryan, and St. Bernard of Clairvaux.
*The third level is now available and they average 144 pages. (This line was added by us as the publishers of this series)
Note that these books all bear the Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur.
Books are available in some Catholic bookstores or through the publisher’s website.