Martin de Porres

The Rose in the Desert

This post is part of Nonfiction Monday 

(pub. 6.26.2012) 32 pages 

A True Tale with A Cherry On Top

A uthor: Gary D. Schmidt
     and Illustrator:  David Diaz

haracter: Martin de Porres -- patron saint of brotherhood, interracial relations, social justice, those of mixed race, public education, and animal shelters

O verview from the jacket flap: 

      "The illegitimate child of a Spanish nobleman and a former slave, Martin de Porres was born into extreme poverty. Barred from the priesthood, he joined the Dominican Order as a servant instead. Soon he was performing miracles and healing nobles and beggars alike. As a celebration of his selflessness, he was canonized into the sainthood.
      Journey with this gentle friar as he calmly confronts racial and economic prejudice in seventeenth-century Peru..."
T antalizing taste: 

   "Anna Velazquez hurried out of the barrios of Lima and onto the plaza. She carried a quiet baby, wrapped closely so that no one could see him - but no one was looking.
     The slave boys sweeping the plaza saw only the dusty cobblestones.
     The Spanish royals sipping lemon ices saw only their ruby rings.
     And the priests standing on the cathedral steps saw only another beggar, and turned away." 
and something more: What a lovely dedication written by David Diaz: "For Lin Oliver and Stephen Mooser, the lamp, lifeboat, and ladder to so many." I echo that sentiment. In 1971, Lin and Stephen co-founded SCBWIthe organization for children's book writers and illustrators. SCBWI now has over 18,000 members! I've heard both of them speak several times at various conferences, including the national conference in Los Angeles the past two summers, and they are wonderful -- inspiring, encouraging, entertaining.  Not only are Lin and Stephen the Executive Director and President of SCBWI, respectively, they are also prolific authors. I can't wait to hear them speak again at this year's SCBWI conference. A heartfelt thank you to Lin Oliver and Stephen Mooser and everyone who works and volunteers for SCBWI! You've made such a difference in so many lives and careers, including mine.


Tara @ A Teaching Life said...

I, too, love that dedication...I just joined SCWI, and it is a remarkable organization. Lucky for you to be able to attend the conference!

Myra Garces-Bacsal from GatheringBooks said...

Hi Jeanne, I studied in an all-girl Catholic school when I was in my primary and secondary years, and St. Martin de Porres sounds so familiar. I recall how drab and boring most of the biographies used to be in my school - if they have been presented in a picture book format, I'm sure I would be more riveted. :)

Jeanne Walker Harvey said...

Tara, Welcome to SCBWI! You will love being a part of SCBWI. Yes, I'm excited to be going to the national conference. But for many years, I only went to local SCBWI events and they were great. So be sure to check our what's going on locally.

Jeanne Walker Harvey said...

Yes, Myra, I know just the type of biographies you mean. And the same with history books. There's so many topics now presented in a fascinating manner instead. Yahoo!

Jen said...

I like your A Cherry On Top review style! Very cute. :)

I really enjoy Gary Schmidt's novels but haven't read any picture books by him that I know of. May have to check them out!

Jeanne Walker Harvey said...

Thanks, Jen!