Olivia and the Little Way

Olivia and the Little Way - Nancy Carabio Belanger This was a sweet little book. I'd suggest it for readers age seven to twelve. You certainly can read it if you are older than that, I enjoyed it, but that is the age group it seems to be geared towards. I wish I could have read it eight or nine years ago.

There were times when I just shook my head and said to myself 'I never would have done that when I was ten.' When Olivia threw away her brand new lunchbox... As a homeschooler I didn't have to deal with peer pressure quite as badly at that age, but I could identify with her distress at the rudeness. What I couldn't understand was her reactions. I think that if I'd been in her place I would have sat there and felt uncomfortable through the lunch hour, and then avoided those girls after that. When Olivia threw Chad's book in the street my ability to identify with her at all had diminished to the point that I just shook my head and wondered if someone would really do that. That said, shortly after those scene Olivia worked to become a better person, with the intersession of Saint Therese, and I actually liked her for the rest of the book. The only other time that I had a disconnect from her was when she got her ears pierced. Especially as someone trying very hard to do the right thing, I was just surprised she could go through with that without permission. I got my ears pierced when I was ten or eleven (though I had parental approval) and I would have been far to afraid to go through with it without my mom with me, not to mention without the awful sick feeling of guilt if I had done it without permission.

I really liked watching as Olivia used a loving disposition to influence the to bullies that she had managed to befriend. It reminded me of how Immaculée Ilibagiza managed to use love to influence men possessed by hatred (on a much larger scale) in her nonfiction book [b: Left to Tell|408615|Left to Tell Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust|Immaculee Ilibagiza|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1328860563s/408615.jpg|69191] (Left to Tell book should be left until at least age sixteen though.)

Though I usually prefer books for people in a higher age range, I still did enjoy the story for the most part. And it's renewed my desire to read [b:The Story of a Soul: The Autobiography of St. Therese of Lisieux|8539607|The Story of a Soul The Autobiography of St. Therese of Lisieux|Thérèse de Lisieux|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1387300537s/8539607.jpg|740889], which is surely a good thing.