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Super Girls and Halos: My Companions on the Quest for Truth, Justice, and Heroic Virtue Paperback – September 8, 2017
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"What do you get when you cross Wonder Woman and Hermoine Granger with St. Katharine Drexel and St. Clare of Assisi? You'll have to read this unique book to find out! Maria Morera Johnson's love of films is eclipsed only by her love of books. In her latest offering, Super Girls and Halos, she introduces a series of gutsy women who help us explore what is good in our own souls. Even though I'm not the science-fiction geek or literature professor that Johnson is, I loved her unexpected and eclectic pairings of intriguing heroines of the screen and the page alongside inspiring saints of the Church. This PG-rated mingling of fiction, films, and faith stories is a fab follow up to My Badass Book of Saints! It's serious fun mixed with the joy of faith!" --Pat Gohn, Author of Blessed, Beautiful, and Bodacious
"Above all, Super Girls and Halos is a celebration of the genius, strength, and beauty of the feminine. Written with Johnson's signature wit and wisdom, this book will inspire you to join forces with God and become the hero of your own story." --Hallie Lord, SiriusXM radio host and author of On the Other Side of Fear
"With wit and wisdom, Maria Morera Johnson pairs the excitement and adventure of fictional heroines with the integrity and tenacity of true heroines who walked this earth. This clever combination packs a punch, providing us with a powerful lesson on righteousness and inspiring us to live with the confidence needed to become virtuous heroines and heroic saints. A must-read for anyone looking to tap into her supernatural, God-given powers!" --Kelly Wahlquist, Founder of WINE: Women In the New Evangelization and editor of Walk in Her Sandals
"Maria Morera Johnson has put together a collection of real and fictional heroines who deliver real kicks (and gentle taps) of correction to the notion that a colorful woman may lack moral wisdom or that a gentle woman is deficient in spiritual and social strength. These sisters are full of the right stuff, and Johnson serves up their virtues with a pow! and a prayer." --Elizabeth Scalia, US editor of Aleteia and author of Strange Gods
"Superheroes and saints prove to be an irresistible combination. Maria Johnson has managed to expertly tell the stories of both with an eye toward the inner desires God has given each of us. This is the very best kind of catechesis and sure to be your favorite read of the year!" --Sarah Reinhard, Catholic author, writer, and managing editor of Today's Catholic Teacher
"Weaving Theology of the Body and super heroes together may seem like a hard task, but author Maria Morera Johnson makes it seem effortless. Flowing from stories about Wonder Woman as she relates to the feminine genius back into a reflection on the development of DC and Marvel characters, this book will appeal to women looking for culturally relatable ways of translating aspects of the Catholic faith into everyday dialect, without losing its potency. A great text for book clubs, Super Girls and Halos elevates the discussion of feminist characters and role models to a higher, more heroic level." --Sr. Brittany Harrison, F.M.A., Campus minister at Mary Help of Christians Academy
About the Author
Johnson has spoken at a number of events, retreats, and conferences, including the National Council of Catholic Women, Austin Women’s Conference, and the Catholic Press Association. She also has been featured on CatholicTV and Busted Halo, and in Catholic Digest and St. Anthony Messenger.
Johnson is a native of Cuba. She and her husband, John, have three grown children and live in the Mobile, Alabama, area.
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
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She explains in the Introduction that many heroic protagonists beloved by thousands over the years in comic books and movies exhibit something we all long for: heroic virtue. It's not so much that we escape into fiction or fantasy through these extraordinary women. It's more like we long to seek what is good and fight for the higher, noble aspects of humanity. That's what interlocks the concept of superheroes with saints.
In each section, Johnson selects a particular cardinal virtue (e.g., justice, prudence, fortitude, and temperance), each of which are further broken into chapters that compare a particularly popular modern heroine with a heroic saint. For example, in the chapter about justice and learning, Johnson compares Wonder Woman with St. Katharine Drexel.
Weaving her own childhood interest in comics and sci-fi characters, Johnson explains in language that is relaxed, inviting, and encouraging about how super-saints and superheroes are actually a reflection of the feminine genius about which St. John Paul II wrote rather than of secular feminist ideals.
Her distinction makes the book appealing to Catholic women who may find themselves drawn to both modern day heroines as well as well-known saints.
~Jeannie Ewing, author of From Grief to Grace: The Journey from Tragedy to Triumph
Broken into four parts aka the Cardinal Virtues:- Seeking Justice, Seeking Prudence, Seeking Fortitude and Seeking Temperance. There are a total of 8 chapters and a conclusion. Each chapter throws together a secular, fictional character with a saint who exemplify the virtue in question. I loved this. I now find myself looking for the "Faith Whispers" in a few of my favourite characters. Not all the characters are familiar to me and they may not be familiar to other readers but the perspective, and anecdotes shared by the author draws you in that you can't help but feel like you know them all. I am also able to transfer and seek characters more familiar to me that allow me to see the virtue in action as well. Well written while allowing for the imperfections of being human.
The introduction begins by giving practical advice from Edna Mode of The Incredibles, who I love. How could this book not be awesome?
I received this book free for my honest opinion from NetGalley and Ave Maria Press.
The premise is straightforward: many fictional heroines share virtues with real saints, and the book explores many of these characters and saints in great detail. I knew some characters well (such as Hermione Granger), others were “old friends" I hadn’t heard from in a long time (Dana Scully), and others I didn’t know at all (Marvel’s Black Widow), but in the end it didn’t matter. If anything, reading about them made me want to rewatch old episodes of The X-Files and study up on Marvel’s Black Widow and Storm, then circle back around to this book.
As soon as I finished the book, I told my teenage daughter - an aspiring writer and self-proclaimed “nerd” - to read it, and I have also recommended it for the teen ministry at my parish. Super Girls and Halos is a great read in general, but would be an especially good pick for Catholic book clubs, women of all ages, and teen girls, because it emphasizes strong, virtuous and, yes, heroic, women - feminine role models worthy of emulation.
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After reading it I can assure you something, it will make you reflect on many things, which perhaps; have never gone through...Read more