Children's LiteratureEngland and France were engaged in fighting for nearly a hundred years when an unexpected leader came to the fore, the peasant girl Joan d'Arc. Even as a child, Joan was deeply faithful, slipping away from chores to pray at a chapel or kneeling in the field at the sound of church bells. At the age of thirteen, her faith deepened when she began to hear voices speaking the word of God. When they urged her to go to the French heir dauphin and take an active role in the war against the British, Joan could not refuse. Initially, she gained the support of the dauphin and led French troops to victory at Orleans. Later, under political pressure, the dauphin withdrew his support, leaving Joan to face a Roman Catholic Church eager to condemn her as a heretic. In 1430, Joan of Arc was burned at the stake. To this day, many questions remain about the religious, mysterious girl. Did she really talk with saints? Was she directed by God? How did she know the things she knew? In this compelling biography, Lace examines the martyr's life in the context of the politics and religion during this incendiary period of European history. 2003, Enslow, Ages 8 to 12.
Heidi Hauser Green