2 Sexes, 60 Saints Each, 2 Questions – UPDATED

For reasons that are not worth going into– at least not yet — I have a question for the Catholic Moms and Dads out there — particularly those of you who home-school, or take main responsibility for your child’s religious formation or teach catechism, yourself.

The question is, are you familiar with these out-of-print books?

Sixty Saints for Girls

Sixty Saints for Boys

Secondly, if’n you are familiar with the books, do you like them? If so, why?

If not, I’d really interested in knowing why. I mean, they’re pretty expensive, here…

Call it a bit of a research project. Either way, to quote Judas via Tim Rice: I only want to know!

UPDATED: In payment for your responses, I offer you this compensatory gift

“Physical violence is the least of my priorities,” too.

That might make a great tee shirt.

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • Marie E

    Yes, I remember them. I really liked the Saints for Girls so then I read the Saints for Boys. Liked that too! Probably got them from my mother and I don’t know where the copies went.

  • Colet

    I haven’t read them. But now I want them.
    Our family is just finishing the second of Ethel Pochocki’s “Once Upon a Time Saints”; these look similar.
    (How your online search for these books led you to this enchanting entertainer deserves its own post.)

  • http://snoringscholar.com Sarah Reinhard

    I’m not familiar with them, but for what it’s worth, I think something like that would be a great resource.

    I don’t homeschool and we do participate in our parish religious education (though I do consider myself the primary formation of my children’s faith).

    In my work with kids–my own and others–it’s great to have someone you can relate with who is the same gender. I think we need to see great heroes who have the same vocations we do/will/might. Boys need to see strong, brave, cool, tough guys WHO ARE SAINTS, the same as girls need to see smart, awesome, humble, meek gals WHO ARE SAINTS.

    That’s my two cents, for what it’s worth. :) (Can’t wait to hear about your project!)

  • Anne

    Oh, goodness. Wonderfully written books, so Very British. I grew up with “Saints for Six O’Clock” and “More Saints for Six O’Clock” by the same author, and read them to my children when they were little ones, too. When reading, you must remember that Important Words are capitalized, so you’ll know they’re Important. (I read a criticism once about the style, so I’ll mention it if it might make you crazy.) It’s a different story-telling style, and I remember having to more or less translate some things into “American in the late 20th century”, but they do tell stories that children can relate to. It’s a gentle story-telling style, especially considering that some of the stories are about martyrs.

  • http://LotsaLaundry.blogspot.com Julia at LotsaLaundry

    We have them, though I’m not sure where they came from. Very British and breezy, cheerful, with wry humor. Mostly legends, so you do have to make sure the kids know the difference between fact and legends, but my children have enjoyed the fact that the books are a) not boring, b) not So Serious That You’re Certain Faith is Never Fun and c) not tediously moralistic. I like that they’re not cheesy or cartoony, nor are they so watered down that the only thing related to faith is the occasional mention of Jesus.

    If they were currently in print, I’d buy copies for first communion gifts. There’s not really anything else like this on the market. But then there aren’t many books about saints on the market (especially fun ones).

  • Katherine

    I’m with Colet, now I want them. I like Sarah’s comment as well, Saints need to be seen as real people that one can indentify with.

  • Kathy Schiffer

    I want them, too! (Hint-hint, Catholic publisher, time to reprint!!) I think I read them in childhood, but I’m not sure.

    In my family there were a bunch of kids (I was the oldest of 6) and not so much money; so my mother was careful about spending for books. She did, though, splurge on a subscription for me to the Catholic Youth Book Club. I had one bookshelf, on which I kept those and a collection of Little Golden Books. I read them again and again, and can still recite some parts of “Kateri Tekakwitha, Lily of the Mohawks.”

  • Maggie

    We homeschool. The books were recommended by another homeschooling mom. My twins (boy and girl) love them. I have read a few of the stories. To quote someone above….”charming”.

  • Anne

    I wish I had known they are expensive. I just donated my copy of Sixty Saints for Girls to a book sale last year. I received it as a gift on my first communion — more than 50 years ago. I read it often as a child. I am also the oldest of six — all girls. We didn’t have own many books. Books got Very Special Treatment. The book as I remember, was written in a rather ‘folksy’ style. It ‘sounded’ more like a jolly adult was telling you a story. I’m not sure that children today would find that as endearing as I did? I have given Amy Welborn’s books on saints as first communion gifts.

  • http://www.elizabethcarden.com Elizabeth

    I’ve never seen or heard of these books, but I certainly would welcome them in our reading rotation. I still recall the little pocket-sized book of the saints with a picture of the saint on one page and a short story of their life on the other (circa 1975)–great for little children who are more interested in the pictures (esp. the one of St. Lucy and her eyes!) but I’ve found very few options for school aged children who want more depth. I did buy a beautiful book that features a saint each day, but sadly, the prose is aimed at professors of ancient history, not eight year olds. Keep us posted on this, Anchoress!

  • kmk

    I agree with Julia–great summary.

    I read “..for Girls” over and over again when I was young!

  • a different Anne

    I have to say I wouldn’t recommend giving Welborn’s book as a First Communion gift. I bought it to read to my daughter when she was 5 or 6 years old, and the discussion of the saints’ lives seemed aimed more at Confirmation aged kids. I don’t have the book here so I can’t give exact quotes, but something to the effect of: “You know how hard it is when all the popular kids want you to do something, but you know the right thing is to do something else?” It assumed the reader was familiar with junior high type social structures.

  • http://punditandpundette.com Jill

    We have them, too. My daughter (15) agrees that they’re written with humor, lots of funny Brit slang of the time, capitalized nouns, et cetera. But not, she assures me, irreverent at all.

  • Mark Greta

    One of the great teaching methods for kids I have seen came out of the Dominican Sisters in Nashville. They have tied teaching virtues all the way through grade school carefully tied to various saints and have a workbook for kids and one for parents. Here it is laid out at one of their schools in TN.

    Also was sent a pretty nice site out of Atlanta called the integrated Catholic Life site with some pretty awesome writers and content. One is Father Barron. It started with a Deacon down in Atlanta with a local business person and is targeted at how to integrate our Catholic faith with work and home.

    Got these as we are building out a website to help unite Catholics with various resources all over the world and to help us all understand the authentic teaching of the Church united to real life.

    My feedback on the two books anchoress is pretty positive, but I have not direct input, only from a friend who homeschools 8. She is not incorporating the Dominican Sisters Virtues Program. Pretty awesome lady.