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Mother Teresa    by Demi order for
Mother Teresa
by Demi
Order:  USA  Can
Margaret K. McElderry, 2005 (2005)
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Demi's unique, rich, jewel-like illustrations make her account of the world-renowned Mother Teresa very special. She tells the tale of how Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu was born in 1910 Macedonia, grew up in a close, happy family, and was called to the religious life at the age of twelve.

She took the name Sister Mary Teresa after Teresa of Lisieux, of whom 'it was said she did no great things - only small things with great love.' As a nun, Teresa initially taught Bengali girls in a Calcutta school, surrounded by the city's worst slum, Moti Jheel. In 1946, she felt called to live amongst and help 'the poorest of the poor'. After studying medicine, Teresa entered Moti Jheel, and started an open air classroom for street orphans. She became an Indian citizen in 1949 and led a congregation called the Missionaries of Charity. She taught by example, telling her nuns 'Never let anyone come to you without coming away better and happier'.

Mother Teresa opened a house for the dying in 1952, and a home for 'thrown-away children' in 1955. Her nuns ran a soup kitchen, a shelter for unmarried expectant mothers and an adoption center. They ministered to lepers using mobile dispensaries, and later helped develop a self-sufficient leper colony. Donations began to flow in from all over the world, and the missionaries used them to do more and more, in India and worldwide. When Mother Teresa died in 1997, she was given a state funeral in India. During her life she was awarded many honors, including the Nobel Peace Prize, and the process of declaring her sainthood is underway.

Demi tells this inspiring story well, interspersing her account of Mother Teresa's life with quotations from the scriptures, and with her own glorious illustrations.

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