Introduce Children to Flannery O’Connor

Flannery O’Connor is best known for her famous stories, such as A Good Man is Hard to Find. A devout Catholic, she lived only 39 years, but she crammed a lot of living and work into those years. The Strange Birds of Flannery O’Connor: A Life by Amy Alexander is a charming oversized picture book that introduces children to this amazing woman.

It shows Flannery as an unusual Southern girl who loved chickens. She felt a bit like a strange bird herself considering that she had pigeon toes, and so she started collecting odd ducks and chickens and started writing stories about them. After her father died, she dove even more deeply into writing.

She attended Georgia State College for Women and then the Writer’s Workshop in Iowa. Though she was often tired, she worked feverishly. At age 25, she was diagnosed with lupus and returned home to her family’s farm. She still loved birds and ordered several peacocks to live on the farm. There she lived out the rest of her life, writing and caring for her unusual birds, with whom she felt a kindred connection.

The Strange Birds of Flannery O’Connor: A Life features large, colorful illustrations that are sure to keep a child’s interest. A biographical note at the end explains more about O’Connor’s life. There are also suggestions for further reading. This fascinating tale provides a great introduction to Flannery O’Connor.

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Author: Patrice Fagnant-MacArthur

Patrice Fagnant-MacArthur, editor of "Today's Catholic Homeschooling", is the mother of two biological sons and one adopted daughter. She is in her fifteenth year of homeschooling. She has a B.A. in History and Fine Art and a Master's Degree in Applied Theology. She is the author of "The Crash Course Guide to Catholic Homeschooling" and "The Fruits of the Mysteries of the Rosary". She blogs at