Purpose of this Blog...

You may have noticed that not all books are equal in capturing children's imaginations and in cultivating those innocent, tender souls. My goal is to help you find the ones that do!
(Painting by Mary Cassatt: "Mrs Cassatt Reading to her Grandchildren" -1888)

Sunday, November 15, 2020

The Broken Wheel: A Graphic Novel for a November Saint

Ancient Faith Publishing as just released Gabriel Wilson's latest graphic novel, THE BROKEN WHEEL, the Triumph of St. Katherine. 

Gabriel has done an excellent job of adapting the story of the Great and Holy Martyr Katherine (305-313) into a gorgeously illustrated graphic novel for ages 10 and up.  

What a role model we find in this saint, especially for girls! This young heroine loves learning.  A governor's daughter, she is intelligent, brave, and beautiful, but also very confident.  She tells her parents that she will enter into marriage only with someone who has surpassed her in nobility, wealth, beauty, and wisdom.   

With the help of her secretly Christian mother, an elder monk, and a miraculous dream, Katherine does find this Bridegroom, as she ultimately chooses a Prince (of Peace) and puts her trust and hope in Him.

Later, Katherine's city is visited by the emperor Maximian. He comes to Alexandria for a pagan festival and Katherine is horrified that Christians are being burned alive and sacrificed because of their refusal to deny Christ.  She is compelled to speak with the emperor and tell him about the True God, asking him to stop the human sacrifices.

Katherine is cast into the dungeon and is visited by St. Michael the Archangel. After the emperor sends 50 of his most renowned philosophers to debate Katherine, they not only believe in Christ, but bravely face death for their belief. 

Now comes the part of the story that really sounds like it was made for a graphic novel: The Wheel. Katherine, our brave heroine, will not deny Christ and voluntarily walks up to her declared method of cruel torture.  Suddenly, St. Michael appears and blows the dreaded wheel to smithereens! 

Witnessing Katherine's bravery and faith, Maximian's wife also comes to believe, along with the emperor's military commander and 200 soldiers, who are beheaded.

And that's not all...though St. Katherine herself is ultimately is beheaded, angels miraculously transport her body to Mt. Sinai, where it was discovered years later.  To this day, her relics are still on Mt. Sinai, at St. Katherine's Monastery. 

At the end of the book is a historical note, along with several icons and the Troparion and Kontakion to St. Katherine.

From Ancient Faith Publishing:
Young Katherine, born into noble wealth with an insatiable hunger for knowledge, surpasses even her tutors when it comes to learning. But her learning counts for nothing when she meets the only man worthy of her - her heavenly Bridegroom. Trading worldly knowledge for eternal wisdom, Katherine challenges even the emperor himself - and he prepares a cruel invention to break her. Meet this great bride of Christ in the second graphic novel in the Among the Saints series - written to inspire both children and adults.

About the Author: Gabriel Wilson lives near his childhood home in rural Indiana with his wife Emily and their three daughters. Their home is over 100 years old - a true fixer-upper - and the subject of many of his woodworking projects. In his free time, he pursues carpentry and music and enjoys making homemade tacos with his wife and sketching with his daughters. Graphic novels are his favorite form of artwork, and aside from his comics based on the lives of saints, he has other secular novels in the works. His first graphic novel was The Cross and the Stag. (read my review, here)

Blessed first day of Advent (if you're an Orthodox Christian). St. Katherine/Catherine is commemorated in the Orthodox Church on November 24 or 25, depending on the tradition. The Broken Wheel is a nice sized soft cover book, 7 x 10 inches, with 104 pages. It would make a wonderful gift for any Katherine/Catherine in your life.

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