Classified as a picture book biography for elementary age readers (5-10 years old), The Angel of Santo Tomas is the heartwarming story of Philippine’s courageous Doctor Fe Del Mundo.

Fe del Mundo’s sister dreamt of becoming a doctor—a big dream for a girl in the Philippines in the early 1900s. When her sister dies, Fe vows to take her place and becomes the first woman and first person of Asian descent to study at Harvard Medical School. At the start of WWII she leaves Boston, where she is safe, and returns to the Philippines, where she is needed most, to care for American and British children forced into an internment camp at Santo Tomas.

Full page color illustrations help tell the story. They are bold and beautifully depict the impactful events in Fe’s life. Text is contained in a paragraph or two on each page, filling in the details that the images put forth.

A detailed timeline appears in the back pages giving even more information about this amazing doctor who lived to be just a few months shy of 100. Highlights include:

  • She was the first Asian woman to attend Harvard Medical School
  • Funded the building of a children’s hospital in Quezon City
  • Received the Ramon Magsaysay Award, Asia’s equivalent of the Nobel Prize

Inspiring and thoughtfully presented, The Angel of Santo Tomas will encourage today’s youth to follow their own dreams.


Tammy Yee grew up in Honolulu, Hawaii, where she explored tide pools, caught crayfish in island streams, and collected monarch butterflies from crownflower trees to raise them into butterflies. After graduating from college, she cared for children as a pediatric nurse. Having her own children rekindled her love for picture books, so in 1994 she exchanged her stethoscope for a paintbrush and has been writing and illustrating ever since. (for more visit Tammy Yee’s website)


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About Greg Pattridge

Climbing another mountain...always striving to reach the next peak in my life and career.
This entry was posted in Middle Grade Book Reviews, non fiction and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. carolbaldwin says:

    Sounds like an awesome picture book for slightly older kids. Thanks for highlighting it.

  2. I just love the beautiful stories of women making a difference in the world like this one. Wish we had books like this one as children. Very empowering story. Thanks for sharing!

  3. What an inspiring story. I’m sure it will be a hit with younger middle-graders. Thanks for the heads up.

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