Maura Roan McKeegan

Maura Roan McKeegan is the author of the children's picture books The End of the Fiery Sword: Adam & Eve and Jesus & Mary, and Into the Sea, Out of the Tomb: Jonah and Jesus (Emmaus Road Publishing), which are the first two books in a series introducing children to biblical typology. Her articles have appeared in publications such as Catholic Digest, Franciscan Way, Guideposts, Lay Witness, and My Daily Visitor.

recent articles

Why Young Readers Need Real Books

A young lady I know won a Kindle in an academic contest. She is a voracious reader. In eighth grade, she enjoys Austen, Chesterton, Lewis, and Wodehouse, among many others. A trail of books seems to follow her everywhere she goes. Her parents, wary of potential negative effects of screens on growing minds, would have … Read more

The Winged Watchman: When Faith Faces Evil

Over the past few years, I have been winding my way through a number of books about World War II. I close each book with a pounding ache of loss, struggling to grasp such atrocity. And while I can never presume to know how God was working in the souls of those whose faith was … Read more

Finding Freedom in Reading Aloud with Children

“Children should be encouraged to read for the pure delight of it.”  ∼ Annie Sullivan, teacher of Helen Keller Most parents have heard that reading aloud to a child at home is one of the most helpful practices in a child’s education. It sounds simple; yet it can be intimidating for parents who want to read … Read more

The Weeds and the Wheat in Children’s Literature

“These are weird, but…whatever gets kids to pick up a book,” a librarian in the children’s section said while she pulled books from a shelf and handed them to a woman in the aisle next to me. The mother had asked for recommendations for her son, and I could not help overhearing the conversation. The … Read more

On Respecting Children When They Make Mistakes

Helping children navigate the road to virtue is a challenging task. Thousands of books, articles, videos, and programs present strategies for how to discipline children effectively. Many parents have found tremendous help this way, and the abundance of information available for struggling families can be a gift from God in difficult and complicated situations. Two … Read more

Farmer Boy and the Value of Handing Down Stories

Almanzo Wilder cannot believe his eyes. “Whose sled is that, Father?” he asks, bewildered. “Is it—it isn’t for me?” Mother laughs and Father twinkles his eyes and asks, “Do you know any other nine-year-old that wants it?” It is Almanzo’s ninth birthday. In his family’s farmhouse in upstate New York, his parents have just sent … Read more

Saint Paul, Little Women, and Books that Honor Children

“What are you looking for, when you go through the library shelves?” a young mother asked me one day, seeing me on my knees browsing titles in the children’s section. She wanted to know how I decide which books to pick, and I was surprised by how hard it was to find a good answer. … Read more

The Long Winter and Reading’s Reward

In our family, we frequently pose the question, “What would Laura say about…?” Presently, we are wondering what Laura Ingalls Wilder’s reaction would be to various aspects of the Modern World. Recently, I have been contemplating what Laura would think if she heard phrases like this: Come on, sweetie. Just read a few more books … Read more

My favorite Children’s Picture Books

Editor’s note: While the following review departs somewhat from the typical essay found at the Civilized Reader, the editors at Crisis believe that time should be given over to consider those books which act as companions and simple friends to the more enduring tales of the imagination.  Hopefully, Mrs. McKeegan’s remarks here will help further the … Read more

Picture Books and the Childlike Heart

While some people’s favorite college professors were taking their classes through Dostoyevsky or Dante, my favorite professor was reading us Mem Fox and Patricia Polacco. And more writers of their kind: authors of some of the finest children’s picture books around. The course was “Teaching Reading” for elementary education majors, and the professor, a retired … Read more

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