A Book for the Whole Family
FREE Catholic Classes
By Cheryl Dickow
One of the biggest struggles of an English teacher in a Catholic school is to find literature that both intrigues and interests the students while supports the values and morals of the Catholic Church. This past year I had the priviledge of finding just such a book. Written by Catholic author Rosemary McDunn, "The Green Coat: A Tale from the Dust Bowl Years" grabbed the students' attention from the very beginning and never let go. What added to my delight was the parent feedback that I received. Not in my ten years as a middle school teacher did I have parents writing notes to me expressing their pleasure in a reading selection. "The Green Coat" apparently grabbed the parents' interest as they investigated the book that had captured their child's interest. I had a winner. Or I should say Rosemary. McDunn has a winner!
Mrs. McDunn's historical fiction is set in the 1930's dust bowl and focuses on Tressa and her older brother Will. The family has lost everything and life is about to change in ways unimaginable. Tressa and Will are forced to move in with another family as their own parents struggle to eke out a living in a far away town. That is the first of many masterful techniques that Mrs. McDunn employs: giving us a story that has characters for both the male and female readers with which to empathize and root for. As the story evolves, Mrs. McDunn continues to enrapture the reader with her masterful use of dialogue and when we hear Tressa say, "I remember Ma once said that too much of a good thing could be a bad thing. If life comes too easily, a body might never learn how to deal with trials and tribulations," we feel that we are right in the room with her. We begin to understand how life's circumstances have made this young girl and her brother grow in ways we admire and we tentatively imagine what we would do in the same circumstances. Would we persevere? Would we have the strength to remain hopeful?
Older brother Will ultimately becomes the shoulder that Tressa cries on but also helps her put things in perspective. He reminds her that their parents are also hurting and that her letters to them that are filled with sadness and despair can only be bringing them more pain. He helps us all realize that it isn't always about us, but that there is a greater good we are all called to serve.
Along with characters we quickly learn to love and dialogue that takes us right to the heart of the tale, Mrs. McDunn's use of descriptive language is a triumph. When we read that "We scrambled to cover the windows and stuff rags in the cracks under the doors. Yet, our efforts were in vain. The dirt slipped through even the smallest of openings and settled in like an unwanted guest," we, too, can feel the grit in our teeth and imagine it on our clothes. We feel pity at the young babies who suffer from dust pneumonia and find ourselves praying with Tressa as she cooks with her "prayer pot." When rain finally comes, our hearts are jubilant even as the initial downpour of pelting mud requires everyone to run for shelter.
Lisa Hendey of www.CatholicMom.com says in her five star review, "A quiet stream of spirituality runs throughout The Green Coat as Tressa develops an active prayer life, calling on God to help her overcome what she feels are insurmountable obstacles. Ultimately, Tressa learns to draw on her own reserves of strength to endure and ultimately triumph in her newfound circumstances. What follows is a wonderful coming of age tale where life lessons are learned, tragedies are overcome, and lifelong friendships are forged."
For families looking for a great summer read for their children, "The Green Coat" is a sure winner. For educators and home-schoolers searching for a book to compliment an English or Social Studies curriculum, Mrs. McDunn concludes the book with ten pages of vocabulary and literary technique focuses found in the book. Either way, "The Green Coat: A Tale from the Dust Bowl Years" is a breath of fresh air! It is available on Amazon and at www.BezalelBooks.com.
Ask, Knock, and Seek
http://www.AskKnockSeek.com MI, US
Cheryl Dickow - author, editor,speaker, 248 917-3865
More Catholic PRWire
Showing 1 - 50 of 4,717
A Recession Antidote
Monaco & The Vatican: Monaco's Grace Kelly Exhibit to Rome--A Review of Monegasque-Holy See Diplomatic History
Dna. Maria St. Catherine Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.
A Royal Betrayal: Catholic Monaco Liberalizes Abortion
Dna. Maria St.Catherine De Grace Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.
Embrace every moment as sacred time
Mary Regina Morrell
Letting go is simple wisdom with divine potential
Mary Regina Morrell
Father Lombardi's Address on Catholic Media
Pope's Words to Pontifical Latin American College
Prelate: Genetics Needs a Conscience
State Aid for Catholic Schools: Help or Hindrance?
Scorsese Planning Movie on Japanese Martyrs
2 Nuns Kidnapped in Kenya Set Free
Holy See-Israel Negotiation Moves Forward
Franchising to Evangelize
Catholics Decry Anti-Christianity in Israel
Pope and Gordon Brown Meet About Development Aid
Pontiff Backs Latin America's Continental Mission
Cardinal Warns Against Anti-Catholic Education
Three words to a deeper faith
Relections for Lent 2009
Wisdom lies beyond the surface of life
Mary Regina Morrell
World Food Program Director on Lent
Pope's Lenten Message for 2009
Keeping a Lid on Permissiveness
Glimpse of Me
The 3 stages of life
Sex and the Married Woman
A Catholic Woman Returns to the Church
Modernity & Morality
Just a Minute
Catholic identity ... triumphant reemergence!
Edging God Out
Burying a St. Joseph Statue
George Bush Speaks on Papal Visit
Sometimes moving forward means moving the canoe
Mary Regina Morrell
Easter... A Way of Life
Papal initiative...peace and harmony!
Proclaim the mysteries of the Resurrection!
Jerusalem Patriarch's Easter Message
Good Friday Sermon of Father Cantalamessa
Papal Address at the End of the Way of the Cross
Cardinal Zen's Meditations for Via Crucis
Interview With Vatican Aide on Jewish-Catholic Relations
Pope Benedict XVI On the Easter Triduum
Copyright 2020 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2020 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.
Catholic Online is a Project of Your Catholic Voice Foundation, a Not-for-Profit Corporation. Your Catholic Voice Foundation has been granted a recognition of tax exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Federal Tax Identification Number: 81-0596847. Your gift is tax-deductible as allowed by law.