Young adult readers as well as adults will be fascinated by this biography of Dorothy Day, the controversial and celebrated Catholic activist, who has been proposed for canonization as a Saint of the Church. Dorothy Day embraced many causes: the poor, non-violent social change, the Civil Rights Movement, suffragism and pacifism. The co-founder of the Catholic Worker Movement that began as a newspaper for Catholic social teaching and flowered into nation-wide communities of “hospitality” for the needy, the “most influential lay Catholic in the history of American Catholicism” who received the Laetare and Gandhi medals and was instrumental in Vatican Council II’s adoption of a resolution that supported conscientious objectors and condemned “indiscriminate destruction,” was also a friend of communists, atheists, and socialists. She was also a single mother, divorcee, the recipient of an abortion who converted to Catholicism and baptized her daughter in the Church. She marched with Cesar Chavez, became a model to the Berrigans, received a visit from Mother Teresa and communion from Pope Paul VI, and lived in voluntary abject poverty. Her life could be thought of as one of contradictions, were it not for the very important observation that hers was a life spent in conscious imitation of the Gospel, but not along the straight and narrow, as Elaine Murray Stone so convincingly shows.
Reading Level: Age 10 and up