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Be who God made you to be!

That’s the powerful and exhilarating truth at the heart of Joan of Art, a book that speaks as much to children as to the grown-ups reading it out loud to them.

Joan is a creative, imaginative girl who dreams of being an artist but is too shy to share her yearning even with her best friends, Mags and Edgar. One day, her teacher assigns the class a project in which they will research why they were given their names.

Joan already knew who she was named after, the medieval warrior and saint, Joan of Arc. But even after a successful presentation of her name project, Joan feels shame for not being like her namesake. After all, she isn’t warrior-like at all (her favorite part of trying to be like Saint Joan is painting home-crafted weapons with pink and purple designs).

When an exceptional teacher and some supportive friends help Joan tap into her own bravery, she is set on a path of self-discovery where she can join the saint of old in saying, “I am not afraid. I was born to do this!”

Painting from a palette of pinks and purples (and a few other vivid hues), illustrator Brooke O’ Neill enriches Lesa Engelthaler’s sensitive, insightful story with splashes of joyful vision. Caregivers can use this book to start conversations about how God uniquely designed each person with their own singular gifts and passions.

Readers will also learn about the marvel that was the teenage farm girl/French military leader Joan of Arc, who, much like the shepherd boy David in the Bible, was given the courage, capacity, and strength to defy every expectation. “Go forward bravely. Fear nothing. Trust in God; all will be well,” Joan of Arc said. This book will inspire readers to do likewise in their own distinctive ways. (Church Publishing)

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