Some of the more in depth reviews I have received from my readers can be found below. I greatly value this feedback and I would be happy to receive your input as well! Please send your thoughts on the A Journey Of Courage to me at murdock914 [at] gmail.com or feel free to post a review on Amazon.com. Thank you!
As a professor in a school of library and information science I am always looking for examples of high quality literature that would be suitable for library collections. Michele Murdock’s book about Sister Dorothy Stang definitely fits the bill. Dorothy was a truly amazing missionary, martyr and environmental activist. She was a fierce believer in the dignity and right of every human being – young and old – to be have their basic needs fulfilled and to live in a safe and secure community. As a tribute to her bravery, Dorothy received the 2008 Human Rights Prize from the United Nations.
Dorothy’s story should be in every library in this country and abroad. Here’s why: while this biography is written at a level appropriate for high school students, adults will also enjoy the story and come to understand the global socio-economic and political forces that are affecting Brazil today. It becomes clear that there is a need for a better system of justice in Brazil as well as in many other emerging countries that are being affected by globalization. The book would be very appropriate for students who are writing papers on contemporary issues as well as anyone who is seeking an easy-to-read, uplifting story of the the triumph of the human spirit.
Believers and non-believers will come to understand the appeal and motivation that inspired an adventuresome and caring young woman like Dorothy Stang to spend a lifetime helping the underserved find their personal and collective voices. Social justice advocates will love this book. I find that I am recommending Michele Murdock’s book not only to librarians and students but also to friends who are looking for an inspirational read that they will long remember. I know everyone will enjoy this book as much as I did. – Joanne Gard M., North Carolina
I finished your book last night—it is a real page turner and I read it in two nights (in bed!) It is quite wonderful, moving and excellently written. You have done a great job of bringing this amazing woman alive on the page, and what a great adventure for you to meet all her family and travel to Brazil. It is very powerful and I hope it gets a great readership—high school kids could really be inspired by this to work in other countries doing what she did—I wanted to sign up right away—made me remember why I wanted so much to be a nun. Although that would not have been a good decision for me. – Sharon C., Connecticut
I had the privilege of meeting Michele Murdock during our stay in Chapel Hill (NC) last year. She told me she had written a book about Sister Dorothy Stang, that was to be published soon. Her book was a tribute to Sister Dorothy Stang, five years after her assassination. She had read the news of her tragic death in 2005 and it had gripped her. Asking her what had motivated her to write the book, she told me: “If I can’t be like Sister Dorothy Stang, then at least I can write a book about her’. Michele’s enthusiasm was so contagious!
A Journey of Courage, The Amazing Story of Sister Dorothy Stang is a book that reads very easily and draws you immediately and entirely into the life of this amazing woman of flesh and blood, so much that you don’t want to stop reading it till the very end. It tells the true life story of an independent, down to earth, deeply motivated and warmhearted sister, who is a community builder and committed to helping the poorest of all people in the Amazon as well as preserving the Amazon itself, courageously fighting – with everything within her means – against the rich and greedy people, who selfishly tried to exploit and eradicate man and nature for their own benefit and wealth, which in the end cost Sister Dorothy her life.
I was struck by the sincerity and courage of Sister Dorothy Stang and the honest and lively way Michele Murdock portrayed her, drawing on information from letters Sister Dorothy had sent to her family and to the sisters of Notre Dame in Ohio, her convent, as well as her profound investigation in Brazil, where she spoke to many people who had known Sister Dorothy and loved her.
I found Michele’s book remarkably thorough, lively and inspiring: she has succeeded in instilling in me admiration and love for this awesome woman, Dorothy Stang, who was an example for others and a true martyr! I highly and sincerely recommend everyone to read this book, that is 100% accessible for all ages, young and old! At the end, the book has a list of questions, that can be used by Book Clubs and school kids. Buy it and read it – you won’t be disappointed! – Victoria T., Belgium
I finished reading your book on Sister Dorothy last night and, although I can see you aimed it at younger readers, I found myself very moved by the power of her dedication and the strength of her courage, even in the face of death.. . . The book also made me realize that I know little of your own trip to Brazil and would like to hear more.
I have a largely negative view of religion and normally associate deep faith with evil actions in the world. Your book challenged my prejudices with its portrayal of someone whose faith led her to enormously good actions in the world. Congratulations on a job well done. – Joe E., New York