Mother Teresa is a name that needs no introduction. Many of us know about her work with marginalized sections of society and her devotion to the poorest of the poor. Yet, the story of her life has escaped public attention. Who was the person behind the saint? What was the journey that brought her from Albania to India?
Sonia Mehta, who has been writing for children for over two decades, brings the saint back to life in Junior Lives: Mother Teresa. This book is the first title in a series of illustrated biographies created for young readers. The aim of the series is to get to know our world heroes better.
This book sets a great example for the rest of the titles to follow. Mother Teresa’s life is narrated in form of a story. This is something that always works with children. It traces the story of Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu, the young girl from Albania who transformed into the beloved Mother Teresa, the epitome of humanity.
Written in a very engaging way, it is packed with little-known facts which make it all the more interesting. Speckled with stories and incidents from her life, the book aptly takes the reader through the saint’s childhood, her decision to become a nun, her tryst in India and her work with the poor. It ends with her journey to sainthood. It thus presents in a simple and easy-to-read manner the story of one of the most important people who ever lived!
The illustrations make the book lively. There are several side-boxes and side-bars that highlight additional explanatory information. Hence, this does not break the flow of the story and at the same time gives a lot of background information that is relevant to the story. For example, in the chapter on Mother Teresa’s decision to become a nun, the side-box explains in a lucid manner the different steps involved in the process of becoming a nun. In another chapter that describes the caste-system in India, there is a diagrammatic representation of the same.
Besides the interesting trivia presented throughout the book, there is a selection of quotes and a timeline at the end, illustrations of commemorative stamps, as well as a list of resources used by the author for the well-rounded research.
In all, Puffin Books India’s Junior Lives: Mother Teresa is a great way to get young readers to know about the saint!
Puffin Books India
Author: Sonia Mehta
Illustrator: Aditya Krishnamurthy