Jan 14, 2023 by Rose O'Keefe

A big shout out to the women who contributed their stories to Empowering You, It’s Your Time! Powerful Stories of Struggle to Strength, (2022) collected by Barbara H. Smith. Each of the ten WOC wrote the story of their hardships, and then the faith that gave them the strength to work through them. It was painful to read about their terrible troubles, and it was a relief that each woman found a way out. Getting to know such personal stories made me thankful for their sharing them. I bought my copy through Carla A. Murphy of Buffalo, NY whom I met online. It was humbling that she would reach out to me to share her personal story. Thank you, Carla.

How did The Door in the Wall by Marguerite De Angeli which dealt with illness, war and loss of  family, still come across as so uplifting? The dilemma of 13th-century 11-year-old boy Robin, who became so sick while his parents were away that he could no longer move, was softened by the care of a kind monk. The hardships that Robin faced as he recovered his health but not the use of his legs were believable about dealing with a serious illness. Kind people helped him along every step of the way. Robin’s trials were lessened by the quiet support he received from the monks who were dealing with a plague’s effect on their town and then an invasion. That Robin became an unlikely hero who saved their castle was clever and believable. Yes, this 1950 Newbery Award winner had a happy ending.

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