Friday, March 16, 2012

Tomorrow!  St. Padraig’s Day is TOMORROW!!

Sadly, here in the U.S.A., this special day has been twisted into ‘make-fun-of-the-Irish-Drinking’.
In Ireland, March 17th is a Holy Day, celebrated with a special Mass and city parades.  This day usually falls during Lent, and drinking is minimal.  

St. Patrick changed the history of Ireland back in the 400s AD.  Through his understanding and compassion for the Irish people, Patrick converted the culture of druid pagan to Christianity.  Here is a web site about St. Patrick: Just Who Was ST. Patrick?

This post is in praise of an ingenious series of books by Eoin Colfer:  Artemis Fowl.  What is so great about this series?

The setting is Ireland, and the main character is the human evil genius child Artemis Fowl.  The son of a wealthy family, the twelve-year old Artemis has turned his brilliance to capturing a leprechaun, one Holly Short, captain of an elite squad of LEPs.

The Fey world is alive and kicking in this series.  The leprechauns are not naughty little mischievous gold stealers/hoarders.  Oh, no.  The leprechauns are an elite squad of top-notch covert operators whose missions are all directed at keeping the humans away from their world. 
A message written in Gnomish

There are other members of the Fey world, some very unsavory and some cooperative assistants. 
This is a student rendering of the world beneath Ireland...

The list of Eion Colfer’s books in this series is long and delightful. There is a marvelous web site where readers will truly enjoy themselves.

 Go to this site when you have time to spare!

This series delighted me, as an Irish person and as a teacher.  It is difficult or even nigh impossible to find titles like these that will engage reluctant readers.  Boys especially are reluctant to venture into books at that middle-school age.  The Artemis Fowl series was a hit.  Each page has a line of ‘gnomish’ symbols that can be interpreted to give a message to the reader.

So, in praise of Ireland and its patron saint, check out this web site and enjoy these books!


  1. They sound like some fun books and yeah Americans and Canadains have really taken the day way way way past what it supposed to be.

    1. It is so irritating that St. Patrick's Day has come down to dying the Chicago river green, and wearing a t-shirt with drunken leprechauns.

  2. Replies
    1. Once they start with the first book, you will find them wanting the next ones.

  3. Dear Susan,
    Thanks for recommending these books. I have two young friends--8 and 10--whom I'm sure would enjoy them.

    An Irish writer whom you might truly enjoy is Erin Hart. She writes adult mystery novels. Her first takes place at an archeological dig in Ireland. I learned a lot about bogs and how the preserve bodies.


    1. I will look into books by Erin Hart. I love mysteries.

  4. Thanks for the info. I really didn't know much about St Patrick's day. Tomorrow we are going into the City and I completely forgot that the big parade with be going on. Yikes!
    Blessings, Joanne

    1. Check the city's web site, which will give you places either to enjoy or avoid!

  5. Sadly St Patrick's day here is about wearing green and drinking too much. And if your drink is green you are well ahead of the game.

  6. I look forward to reading these with my son! Some day I'll get out to Ireland, and I can't wait to burn out my SD card in my camera.

    Shannon at The Warrior Muse, co-host of the 2012 #atozchallenge! Twitter: @AprilA2Z

  7. 'Sadly, here in the U.S.A., this special day has been twisted into ‘make-fun-of-the-Irish-Drinking’.'

    Couldn't agree more (that this is sad.) A lovely post, contemplative.


Go won' t hurt...I'd love to hear what you think!