Review Blog

Jul 01 2013

Meet Mary MacKillop by Sally Murphy and Sonia Martinez

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Random House, 2013. ISBN 9781742757216.Ebook ISBN 9781742757230 hbk., col. ill., RRP $A19.95.
(Age: 6+) Mary MacKillop believed deeply in educating children, particularly those in remote areas of Australia, and in 1866, full of excitement and enthusiasm she left her home and all that she knew to set up her first school in Penola, South Australia. This is the story of the establishment of that school and Mary's insistence that it would be for every child regardless of their parent's status or ability to pay. With a deep belief in God, she and her sisters put their trust in His ability to provide and enable them to survive and flourish. During the first year Mary decided to become a nun, Sister Mary of the Cross, and founded the order of the Sisters of St Joseph, 'doing God's work and helping the poor wherever we can.'
Since her beatification in 1995 and subsequent canonisation in 2010, the life and work of Mary MacKillop has become much more widely known, and, as Australia's first saint, the interest spreads beyond the Catholic Church. In this beautifully illustrated picture book, we learn how and where it all began.
This is the second in the Meet . . . series, a collection of picture books that tell the stories of some of Australia's most significant people. Ned Kelly was the focus of the first, Captain James Cook the next one. Designed to complement the outcomes of the History strand of the Australian National Curriculum, it's a great way to get the youngest readers interested in who has shaped this country.
Barbara Braxton

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