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Thea Bowman: A Story of Triumph

ISBN: 9781634894777
Binding: Paperback
Author: Mary G. Verrill
Pages: 88
Trim: 6 x 8 inches
Published: 9/21/2021

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A biography of Thea Bowman for young readers.

Thea Bowman's parents were happy when she started 6th grade at Holy Child Jesus School in Canton, Mississippi.

At age 15, Thea asked her parents if she could join the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration (FSPA) and finish high school 1,000 miles away. They said no!

So how did Thea join the FSPA and do well in high school and college? How was she able to get through a serious illness as a young Black person far from home? How did she overcome racial bias, share African American spirituals and heritage, and speak out for love and healing for all people?

Thea's life of self-determination and courage answers those questions, reflecting the historic times she lived in. Like Thea, this book can inspire young readers to set high goals, triumph over obstacles, and share their talents with the world.

Thea Bowman: A Story of Triumph fills a gap in scholarship about Thea’s life in a chapter format designed for young adult (YA) readers. Fits reading Lexile range 810L – 1400L for grades 6-12.


Mary G. Verrill is a writer and musician. She earned the degree of Bachelor of Arts in English at Viterbo University with Dr. Thea Bowman, FSPA, as her professor and thesis mentor, along with a Minor in Music in 1978. Some memories of literature classes with Thea are included in this book. Due to the excellent preparation for graduate school she received from Thea and other faculty, she completed the degree of Master of Arts in English Literature at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1980. Wanting to spread the joy of teaching and learning witnessed while a student of Thea, Verrill taught college writing and literature courses as adjunct faculty in Minnesota and Wisconsin. She earned the degree of Doctor of Education (EdD) in Leadership at Saint Mary's University of Minnesota in 2015. She continues to write, teach, and play violin.

Thea Bowman: A Story of Triumph