Saint John Don Bosco:

"Never read books you aren't sure about . . . even supposing that these bad books are very well written from a literary point of view. Let me ask you this: Would you drink something you knew was poisoned just because it was offered to you in a golden cup?"

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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Saving Lily by Peg Kehret

Peg Kehret writes engaging stories for the mid-younger tween set. This is not one of her more engaging stories but a likable one nonetheless.

This one she writes with a good agenda. Peg Kehret is an animal lover, and she does a fine job of weaving this story about Lily, an abused circus elephant and a student who ends up saving her from a miserable existence.

When Erin writes a research report on animal abuse, this leads to her bowing out of the class field trip to the local circus. She then has to deal with: an upset teacher, educating other people on animal abuses, and even finding a way to save Lily, the circus elephant and sending her to a sanctuary.

What Peg writes about in fiction is true. Animals have and are treated inhumanely, and this is a shame. It is educational to read in the book about real ways people have made progress in helping abused animals.

The story passes with flying colors, although I have a slight reservation. The Church teaches us to care for and have regard for animals and their welfare. But we are also cautioned to maintain the proper balance and perspective and not have a disordered affection for animals that puts them in a place that only human beings should hold.

Teaching Moment: I thought the book skirted a bit close to getting this out-of-balance. There was a daydream the main character had about arguing before the Supreme Court to grant legal rights to animals. The difference between legal and humans rights is not explained. Also, one character mentions to the main character: you're talking about animals as though they're human. She does correct herself that they are intelligent creatures, but the distinction between humans created in the image of God is not clearly made.

See Catechism of the Catholic Church: Animals:
place in Creation: 2415, 2416
Relationship to Man: 2417, 2418, 2457

Rating: 2 Vatican Flags


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