Library Column for March 17, 2023

@ Your Library

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! May your day be lucky and filled with fun! Here are some St. Patrick’s Day stories for all ages. The Leprechaun’s Story by Richard Kennedy tells of a tradesman who encounters a leprechaun and is determined to get the pot of gold. Michael asks the leprechaun he meets to help with his family’s money trouble, but the leprechaun doesn’t want to part with his gold so he finds another way to help in The Leprechaun in the Basement by Kathy Tucker. That’s What Leprechauns Do by Eve Bunting details the trouble Ari, Boo and Col get into as they work to place the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Laura Peyton Roberts has written about family and connections in Green. Lilybet learns there is more to the family tree and to her bond with her late grandmother after she is abducted by leprechauns on her thirteenth birthday. Well-known author Patricia Reilly Giff has written about the Irish potato famine of 1845 in Nory Ryan’s Song.

Teens (and adults) might enjoy Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys for a moving story of World War II refugees. In Rules for Visiting by Jessica Francis Kane, May wants to reconnect with four friends from days past. Frank McCourt is the author the memoir’s Angela’s Ashes and Teacher Man while Timothy Egan wrote about Thomas Francis Meagher, the Irish revolutionary who became an American hero in The Immortal Irishman.

Several well-known authors have written fiction about Irish Americans from Danielle Steel in Matters of the Heart to Lawrence Block in Everybody Dies. Other possibilities include Jack Higgins’ Midnight Runner for terrorism and revenge, The Parting Glass by Emilie Richards for a romantic domestic fictional tale. Dennis Lehane wrote The Given Day, a story of police and Irish Americans in Boston, Massachusetts. We are the Brennans by Tracey Lange follows a large Catholic Irish family on the east coast after Sunday returns home bruised and battered after causing a drunk driving accident in Los Angeles where she fled five years earlier. She comes to realize she needs her family as much as they need her, especially after a dangerous man pushes the family’s pub to the brink of financial ruin.

Richard Ford has written a collection of contemporary Irish American stories in Sorry for Your Trouble. Disappointment, ageing, grief, love and marriage are all present in these nine stories from the past and present. Go to the drive-in with two teenage boys and feel how thick the air is with gin, popcorn and longing. Watch a father help his daughter pick out a card for a friend who’s moving away and see what happens when a woman and man reunite after a quarter of a century apart.

Claire Keegan writes of small moments and great decisions in both Small Things Like These and Foster, both set in small Irish villages. And of course for bucolic Irish fiction don’t miss Patrick Taylor’s Irish Country Doctor series.

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