Mary Slessor by Terri B. Kelly

Wow! What an inspiring story.

Mary Slessor: Missionary Mother is a biography of a Scottish missionary (1848 – 1915) whose heart’s desire was to serve God and the people of Africa.

Putting her mission work first, she never married. She endured hardships and danger to bring the message of God’s love to African tribes. She adopted many children to save them from the terrible practice of killing infant twins.

She became friends with tribal chiefs and opened schools and churches. Yet she always wanted to move further inland to the tribes who’d never heard about God. Praying, she pressed on even when her friends feared for her life.

What a courageous woman. Her life and fierce faith changed many lives.

This biography is written for children 9 – 12. I’d say that middle-school aged boys and girls will be encouraged by this story. The author does not embellish the many harsh tribal practices—including cannibalism—yet they are part of the story so I’d recommend for possibly later elementary grades to middle-school.

I also recommend it for adults. Though written in language children can understand, I found this biography a page turner. The author’s research amazed me! It took me to the African tribes, where I lived through the danger with Mary.

I will look for more books by this author.

-Sandra Merville Hart