Ida Scudder by Terri B. Kelly

Reviewed by Sandra Merville Hart

Missionary Doctor

I had read Mary Slessor: Missionary Mother, a biography written by Terri Kelly of a Scottish missionary (1848 – 1915) whose heart’s desire was to serve God and the people of Africa, and looked forward to reading Ida Scudder: Missionary Doctor.

Kelly did not disappoint me.

Ida Scudder was reluctant to join her parents’ mission in India. She had a mind of her own and lived with a spirit of fun back at the Northfield Seminary for Girls in Massachusetts. After all, it’s 1889, and the high school student didn’t want to live the rest of her life in poverty at the mission.

Then her mother falls ill and Ida needs to return to India. Caring for her mother through her illness and seeing the great need for female doctors changes her mind about her future.

I love how the author allows Ida’s mischievous nature to shine as well as her real struggle with her decision to become a missionary doctor.  

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 inspired by this story.  

I also recommend it for adults. Though written in language children can understand, this biography was a page turner for me.

I will look for more books by this author.

-Sandra Merville Hart