On The Personal Side Part 2

Feb 26, 2021 by Rose O'Keefe

My heroes: Joan of Arc, a Pacific Islander girl Karana and her dog Rontu, and Martin de Porres.

I used to read comic books like Archie and Veronica, Superman but between 1957 and 1961, I read French Catholic comic books of the lives of the saints. That’s how Joan of Arc, patron saint of France, became my shero.

For my 10th birthday, I received a copy of The Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell and kept it for years, weeping every time I read it.

A biography of Martin de Porres touched me deeply. He was a lay monk who lived in 16th-century Lima and is the patron saint of mixed-race people and those who seek racial justice. He’s a life-long hero.

I read Little Women by Louisa May Alcott several summers in a row, and Anne of Green Gables and more, by L.M. Montgomery. Neither Alcott’s Jo nor Montgomery’s Anne were well-behaved white girls.

My dad used to read us a few of the Beatrix Potter Peter Rabbit books, and I gave more to my daughter for Easter. When our kids were little, I liked Amelia Bedelia and Encyclopedia Brown more than they did.