When I first came across Maria’s new book, Super Girls and Halos, I was like, This would work perfectly as an adult companion read to How to Be a Hero! Obviously, I had to be a stalker and email Maria and ask if I could send her a copy of How to Be a Hero, because I like to play it cool like that. She graciously agreed, and shortly after that, Allison put the word out that there were some review copies of Super Girls available for bloggers who wanted to participate in a blog tour, so needless to say, I jumped right on that.
Super Girls and Halos pairs a superhero or fictional character from pop culture with a saint in each chapter, showing how these women sought the cardinal virtues in their lives and stories. I love Maria’s approach because the use of good storytelling to inspire and inform the moral imagination is one of my things, as you probably know by now. Ahem. I love how she incorporates fictional characters to illustrate what the virtues look like in action.
Using pop culture is a fairly well-accepted methodology in youth ministry and working with children and teens, yet it often gets overlooked when we’re talking to adults. But the larger culture is the one in which we’re all living, and those references are the ones people “get” right away. So these characters are a great entry point, especially for women just returning to the Faith, or just seeking and looking at what it means to be a Catholic woman.
Maria does an excellent job of incorporating short, accessible, but hard hitting references to John Paul II’s philosophy and writing on the unique genius of women, as well as other important figures who wrote on this topic, like Edith Stein.
I will readily admit I am *the* most pop culture ignorant individual on the planet, so I wasn’t familiar with the storyline of many of the fictional characters that Maria uses, especially the superhero figures. She does a great job of filling in the background for readers who don’t know, but with enough character analysis that it didn’t feel tedious for the characters I am familiar with, like Katniss and Hermione. (Bonus, this was a good primer for me on superhero organizations and plot lines, because Will is waaaaaay into superheroes now and also waaaaaay irritated by his mother’s ignorance on the topic.)
My SuperGirl Saint is Elizabeth Ann Seton. There are so many things I admire about her; her courage in the face of social rejection, her grace in suffering, her devotion to the truth, her generosity to her own children and the children she educated. Her home in Emmitsburg, MD and the shrine there are among my favorite places.
I would love, love, love to see a Mother-Daughter book club where the mothers read Super Girls and Halos and the daughters read How to Be a Hero and then come together to discuss what it means to be a woman of heroic virtue. Someone, please make my dreams come true!
Check out the Rafflecopter below to enter the giveaway, and read the rest of the book tour here!
Disclosure: Ave Maria Press provided me with a free copy of Super Girls & Halos for review. All opinions are my own. This post contains Amazon affiliate links at no cost to you.