32 Days A Story of Faith and Courage
32 Days A Story of Faith and Courage

Item code 



Prozeller, Ellen Lucey 

Pauline Books & Media 



32 Days: A Story of Faith and Courage

About this Book:

Eleven-year-old Lucy's young life is turned upside down when Communist troops invade her small Chinese village during the 1948 revolution. The soldiers remove Lucy's teacher, Sister Elizabeth, from the school, and replace her with a strict, unyielding instructor who teaches the children to memorize the words of Mao Zedong and the tenets of the Communist party. Food is scarce, and soldiers patrol the streets and the town, forcing its residents to live in fear.

Lucy's family is forced to practice its Catholic faith in secret. After soldiers desecrate the church and imprison the priest, Lucy makes a heroic decision: she sneaks into the church at night to be with Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament. Many years later, her devotion and actions will be an inspiration to Bishop Fulton Sheen.

This historical fiction for children in grades 3-5 depicts a child living out her faith in a culture of opposition. The story is based in fact: Lucy is a true if virtually unknown hero who inspired others far beyond her time and place.

Features & Benefits:

  • Includes helpful discussion questions
  • Provides historical insight into the Communist revolution
  • Presents a child's viewpoint of historical events
  • Shows how heroic actions have long-lasting effects
  • Introduces Bishop Sheen in a unique and engaging way
  • Reaffirms the centrality of the Eucharist and prayer in the Catholic faith


2017 ACP Award

About the Author:

Ellen Lucey Prozeller has been a teacher on all levels from elementary school through college. She has also taught religious education on a volunteer basis for many years. She holds an MA in English literature and has published articles and short stories in the New York Times, St. Anthony Messenger, America Magazine, and more. In addition, Mrs. Prozeller has worked as an editor and corporate trainer. She is married and has two adult daughters and three grandchildren.

What Are People Saying about this Title?

"Although the facts surrounding her life, even her real name, are unclear, her story of faith amid persecution under communist China will leave a memorable and inspirational impression. "
-Regina Lordan, The Monitor Newspaper of Trenton, NJ Catholic Diocese

"Readers in grades 3 through 5 will learn about a child their own age who lives her faith in a time of oppression: a young, unknown Catholic hero. "
-Barb Szysziewicz, OFS, CatholicMom.com Book Notes

Product Details:

Binding: Paperback
Trim size: 5¼ x 7¾"
Pages: 128

Teachers, below are our suggestions for accelerated reading tests. Kindly recommend 32 Days: A Story of Faith and Courage as an accelerated reader title to the Accelerated Reader Program that you use most.

Reading Level: Grades 3-5 (Ages 9-11):

Flesch-Kincaid Reading Level of Questions: 5.0

Questions for Accelerated Readers:

    • 1) How did Pei and her sister Ling escape from the wild boar?

      a. Pei and Ling ran and hid by the pond

      b. Pei prayed to Jesus for help and threw a stone at the boar

      c. Their parents came to help and scared away the boar

      d. Pei and Ling ran back to their house before the boar could catch them

    • 2) How did the Catholic families feel when the Communists came?

      a. They were happy that the Communists had come to help

      b. They were afraid of being arrested because they believed in Jesus

      c. They were angry that the soldiers had come and eaten their food

      d. They were curious about the Communists' beliefs

    • 3) What did Pei do every night for 32 days?

      a. Went to the church and consumed one of the 32 consecrated Hosts on the floor

      b. Prayed the rosary inside the abandoned church

      c. Visited Father Anthony's house where he was under arrest

      d. Try to convert the soldiers to Catholicism

    • 4) What did Pei do every night for 32 days?

      a. Pei's brown jacket helped her hide from soldiers at the church

      b. Pei thought it was kind to share clothes with her friends

      c. The pink jacket could have been torn during her trips to the church

      d. The pink jacket was itchy

    • 5) How did Min, Jiang-Mei, and Pei know that Father Anthony was still alive?

      a. They snuck past the guard at night to speak with Father Anthony

      c. Father Anthony put some holly from Christmas Mass near his window

      c. The pink jacket could have been torn during her trips to the church

      d. The children hummed a song as they passed Father Anthony's house and heard him singing

    • 6) When the soldiers found Pei in the church, they ________

      a. Arrested her

      b. Killed her for her belief in Jesus

      c. Called her parents to take her home

      d. Asked to pray with her

    Keywords: Catholic child martyr, Archbishop Fulton Sheen, martyrdom in China, historical fiction, Blessed Sacrament devotion

Sister Donna M. D'Alia, RSM says...
This simple yet profound children’s story is that inspired Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen. From these bare facts, Ellen Lucey Prozeller, builds a story of eleven-year-old Pei, a fictional character, animated by a growing friendship with Jesus in prayer which sustains her during turbulent times. Included in the book are simple facts about Chinese culture, history and family life during the Communist revolution which give further insight into the lifestyle and challenges that threatened the faith of Pei and other Catholics at that time. Woven throughout the story are numerous examples of simple, genuine prayer appropriate for children such as petition, thanksgiving, intercessory prayer, the Mass and devotions to nourish a heart-to-heart relationship with Jesus, especially Eucharistic Adoration. In the end, it is this deep friendship that strengthens Pei during her trials and gives her the courage to sacrifice all for Christ. I can’t but help think that this book would make a superb First Communion gift to introduce the young reader to a personal relationship with Christ nourished by power and gift of the Eucharist.

Mother M. Assumpta Long, OP says...
My heartiest congratulations go to Ellen Lucey Prozeller for putting flesh and blood to a story told and retold about this little faith-filled Chinese girl Archbishop Fulton Sheen made so famous. May children find in this young girl an inspiration to live holy lives.
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