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Lori Skinner

Try an Irish-themed story this St. Patrick’s Day

St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated to honor the patron saint and national apostle of Ireland March 17, which is the anniversary of St. Patrick’s death in the fifth century.

Mythology about St. Patrick has become ingrained in Irish culture, such as his use of a shamrock to explain the Holy Trinity and the myth of driving the snakes out of Ireland.

Most Americans tend to think of St. Patrick’s Day as a fun holiday associated with parades and parties, and interestingly, parades first became associated with St. Patrick’s Day in what is now St. Augustine, Florida, in 1601!

In honor of St. Patrick and the fun associated with the holiday, let’s check out some great reads with an Irish flavor.

Your youngest readers will enjoy “Ten Lucky Leprechauns” by Kathryn Heling and Deborah Hembrook and illustrated by Jay Johnson. The adorable and vivid illustrations feature a page-by-page count to 10 as leprechauns are uncovered.

For slightly older audiences, try “Fiona’s Luck” by Teresa Bateman and illustrated by Kelly Murphy. In this tale, the King of the Leprechauns has stored away all of the luck in Ireland, plunging the land into hardship. A smart girl named Fiona figures out the only way to restore the luck will be to rely on her wits – “Sometimes cleverness, though, is worth more than strength.”

If that sounds like a good read, you will also enjoy “O’Sullivan Stew” by Hudson Talbot. Our heroine Kate uses her wits to tell entertaining stories to save herself, her family and her village.

Being a princess doesn’t keep Melkora from being kidnapped in “Hush: An Irish Princess’ Tale” by Donna Jo Napoli. In this powerful retelling of an Icelandic legend, Princess Melkora must quickly learn to survive when she is thrown into a world that she has never known.

Eoin Colfer, Irish author of beloved criminal mastermind “Artemis Fowl,” has returned to the world of fairies and supernatural mischief with “The Fowl Twins.” The Irish twin brothers of Artemis Fowl become enmeshed in adventure when they befriend a troll that has made his way to the earth’s surface.

A gentle classic and beloved series by Patrick Taylor is the “Irish County” series. The series opener, “An Irish Country Doctor,” sees our hero Dr. Barry Laverty travel to the village of Ballybucklebo to begin his career in a small medical practice. With an eccentric mentor, he meets a town full of colorful characters and learns more about life than he ever did in medical school.

With currently 16 installments and a cookbook, this series has everlasting popularity.

Lori Skinner is the head librarian for Northwest-Shoals Community College. For more information, she can be contacted at 256-331-6288 or lori.skinner@nwscc.edu. NW-SCC libraries are open to the public and look forward to serving your library needs. 

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