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The Simple Faith of Mr. Rogers: Spiritual Insights from the World's Most Beloved Neighbor Hardcover – February 1, 2005

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Amy Hollingsworth is the author of The Simple Faith of Mister Rogers: Spiritual Insights from the World's Most Beloved Neighbor, based on her nine-year friendship with television's Fred Rogers. She has a master's degree in counseling psychology and a bachelor's degree in English and is an adjunct professor at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Virginia, where she lives with her husband Jeff and their children, Jonathan and Emily. She has written for various magazines, including ParentLife, and was a writer for eight years for The 700 Club television program.

From AudioFile

At first, Amy Hollingsworth's calm voice and steady pace seemed too uninvolved, too unruffled for the depth of the emotional connection she claims to feel for the late Fred Rogers, of "Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood." However, as she unfolds the story of what Rogers means to her and how his personal faith is revealed in his life and show, it becomes apparent just how fitting her delivery is. One of Hollingsworth's core claims about Rogers is that he provided a respite from the world and that the calm he created through his cadence and through the tempo at which people interacted in his neighborhood were direct reflections of his faith and gentle spirit. G.T.B. © AudioFile 2005, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Integrity Publishing (February 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1591452295
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591452294
  • Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 0.8 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (72 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #274,171 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Amy Hollingsworth is the author of the bestselling The Simple Faith of Mister Rogers: Spiritual Insights from the World's Most Beloved Neighbor (2005), based on her nine-year friendship with television's Fred Rogers. Her new book, RUNAWAY RADICAL, coauthored by her son Jonathan, will be released in February, 2015. Her other books include Gifts of Passage: What the Dying Tell Us with the Gifts They Leave Behind (2008); Holy Curiosity: Cultivating the Creative Spirit in Everyday Life (2011), and Letters from the Closet: Ten Years of Correspondence that Changed My Life (2013). Before writing books, Amy wrote for various magazines and was a television writer for eight years for CBN. In 2010, she was named one of USA Today's Top 100 People for her influence on pop culture and was featured in the documentary by MTV's Benjamin Wagner titled "Mister Rogers & Me." Her television appearances include WGN's Morning News, PBS's A Word on Words, and FOX Morning News. A former psychology professor, Amy lives in Virginia with her husband and children.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

112 of 113 people found the following review helpful By Daniel L Edelen TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 24, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Amy Hollingsworth's "The Simple Faith of Mister Rogers" grew out of the author's correspondence over nine years with the legendary children's TV host. Part author memoir, part Christian devotional, and part biography of Fred Rogers, the book takes readers on a journey through the life of author and the Christian discipleship of the man behind "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood."

Asked in 1994 by her employer to do an interview with Fred Rogers, a man not given to interviews, Hollingsworth was able to secure that interview by sticking up for Rogers in an editorial response she wrote to a snarky article by a New York journalist that condemned Rogers as nothing more than a panderer to self-esteem and the latest pop psychology. So the author lays out the beginnings of her friendship with the gentle man whom she later credits with saving children's television, particularly PBS's version of it.

Her stories of Rogers get to the one side of his persona that he kept very quiet, his Christian faith. In his younger days, Rogers started off as a puppeteer on a children's show and saw the need to bring the Gospel into the way that television reached out to children. To this end, he enrolled in seminary, only to find resistance to his being ordained. The ordination board did not know what to do with a man who did not want to pastor a local church, but instead wanted to pastor every person who watched a children's TV show he led. But Rogers's insistence that the Holy Spirit was able to speak truth even through the airwaves convinced the seminary board; he was ordained in the United Presbyterian Church.

The show he became famous for first debuted in Canada, then came to PBS via WQED in Pittsburgh. Rogers lived right down the street and walked to the studio every day.
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41 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Michael Johnson on February 28, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I have a connection to Mister Rogers because he answered my sister's letter to him with a personal letter back. This book describes the spiritual dimension behind his incredible kindness. The author carried on a friendship and correspondence with Fred over the years. Thankfully she documented all the correspondence and organized them into a beautiful remembrance of the man. It is not just full of platitudes but gives Mr. Rogers some real depth. My admiration for him grows everytime I add some more knowledge of his life. You find out the real strength behind his patience and kindness was Jesus.

The author organizes each chapter methodically with a series of lessons she learned from Mr. Rogers. She has done a nice job documenting the human inspirations for Fred as well. Who knew of his friendship with Henri Nouwen?

I didn't want the book to end. I found a lot more spiritual depth than you might expect from a children's televsion host.
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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful By on March 2, 2005
Format: Hardcover
When Amy Hollingsworth scored a rare interview with Fred Rogers in 1994, it began a relationship of letters and phone calls between the two that spanned eight years, lasting until three weeks before his death in 2003. It culminates in this compelling inspirational book, THE SIMPLE FAITH OF MISTER ROGERS: Spiritual Insights from the World's Most Beloved Neighbor.

Using the analogy of "toast sticks," a treat Rogers cited as a milestone in his childhood, Hollingsworth gathers up the "spiritual toast sticks" Rogers bequeathed to her --- toast sticks of the heart (inner disciplines), for the eyes (seeing others), and for the hands (using practical things we've learned). She adeptly weaves snippets of her own life throughout, exemplifying the influence Rogers had on her life.

Hollingsworth paints a portrait of a disciplined, contemplative man of deep faith ordained by the United Presbyterian Church as an evangelist with a unique charge to serve children and families through television. And rather than conform to what passed for quality children's programming, he determined to chart his own course. "I'm so convinced that the space between the television set and the viewer is holy ground," he told Hollingsworth.

There was no frantic Sesame Street action in "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood." Each of the 900 episodes opened with a traffic light flashing in yellow. Slow down, was the message. Take time. "And so, for me, being quiet and slow is being myself, and that is my gift," Rogers told Hollingsworth. "Sometimes slow is better: in understanding, in learning to be patient, in 'going deeper' spiritually," observes Hollingsworth, a self-confessed Type A, hyperactive person.

Rogers also used the unlikely medium of television to teach about silence.
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35 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Michael Dalton VINE VOICE on March 31, 2005
Format: Hardcover
A friend, who just recently had his 100th book published, once told me that the biography that he most wanted to write was the life of Fred Rogers. I was intrigued.

In the months before Mister Rogers' death, I read the articles that began to appear about him. I even came across an article that he wrote, which appeared in Reader's Digest. What I read confirmed to me that he was an extraordinary man. When I saw that this book had come out, I couldn't wait to read it.

My expectations were high, and I was not disappointed. Just pages into it, an obscure image from the movie review section of the San Francisco Chronicle summarized what I was feeling. On weekends the Chronicle published summary reviews of movies in a pink Datebook edition. Each review was accompanied by a depiction of a man sleeping, looking bored, sitting and clapping, or out of his seat clapping fanatically. It served as a visual summary of how good the movie was. As I read through the introduction and opening chapters of Amy's book, inside I was like the little man who was out of his seat clapping hysterically. I was singing on the inside. This book is a delight.

Not only is it extremely well written, the author made a great choice in how to present the material. It's not a beginning to end life story of Mister Rogers. Instead the author gives an overview of his life in the introduction and sets the stage for what is to follow. The book has more to do with the legacy of Mister Rogers-what we can learn from him-than a chronology of events.

Each chapter covers a different subject. How Mister Rogers lived and thought about solitude and silence, prayer, the work of the Holy Spirit, forgiveness, difficult times and other subjects are covered.
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