Father Flanagan was a true visionary because he wanted to transform America’s entire child care system, doing away with the reform schools, orphanages and workhouses where children were abused and mistreated, and replacing them with communities of homes where troubled kids could grow up as part of a loving family. A century after Boys Town’s founding, this first-of-its-kind book for children channels the defining principles of Father Flanagan, encouraging children to reflect on their blessings and challenging them to find their purpose as they lead lives of compassion.
Beautifully illustrated and written for children in grades K through 5, the text echoes the words of Father Flanagan, presented in his quotes under each historically informed image. The title, Dearest Children, pays homage to the beloved priest, borrowing the very way he addressed the children in his care, often calling them “my dears” or “dearest children.” Collaborating with the Boys Town Hall of History and experts in the Boys Town Model of Care, author and illustrator Eli Hernandez has captured Father Flanagan’s true character and made his most valuable wisdom accessible to the youngest of readers.
Following the main text, parents will find interactive activities and discussion topics developed by Laura Buddenberg, Director of Pastoral Affairs at Boys Town and a former Boys Town trainer specializing in spirituality issues. This section provides opportunities for families to further connect through Father Flanagan’s inspirational messages and put his principles into practice. 32 pgs.
Published by Boys Town Press