Did you know that March is Irish-American Heritage Month? If you have known me for a little bit of time then you know that I love all things Irish. What can I say, I come from a very large Irish family. Lately, I have had a desire to teach my kids the true meaning of holidays and not just the commercialized, secularized version that we are being given on t.v. and in stores. I am wanting to teach my kids the true meaning of St. Patrick’s Day and not that it means green beer and partying. Today, I am going to share with you 7 books to help celebrate Irish-American Heritage Month.
A few of the books are great for teaching kids about St. Patrick’s Day, a few are Ireland’s history, and the others are about Irish poetry and folklore. Whether you would like to supplement homeschooling or just learn about Irish history for your own enjoyment the following books are a great collection to help celebrate Irish-American Heritage Month.
2 Books for Kids about St. Patrick’s Day
One great way to celebrate Irish-American Heritage Month is to teach your kids about Irish history. Here are two great books that teach about the history of St. Patrick.
The Story of Saint Patrick’s Day by Patricia A. Pingry
This is a really cute board-book that tells the story of St. Patrick’s Day in a way that is easy enough for a toddler to understand. The illustrations are really cute and help to tell the story of St. Patrick’s life. It also talks a little bit about how the holiday is celebrated today. This is a great book for parents to use to introduce the meaning of St. Patrick’s Day.
Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day by John O’Brien Jr.
I really like this book! I am going to be using it as part of my homeschool curriculum to help teach about the background of the holiday.
The book first talks about what St. Patrick’s Day is. Next, it talks about Irish history and folklore, including some Irish Gaelic words. The author also talks about why the shamrock is a symbol of Ireland and about the folklore of the leprechaun.
Then, the author talks about how people around the world celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. He includes some fun games to play with kids while celebrating the holiday. He finishes the book with a few Irish phrases and words, a glossary, and a list of resources in case you want to learn more about the subject.
I liked this book so much I might get more books in the series that teach about other holidays.
3 Books about Irish History for Teens and Adults
Do you love history? Irish history specifically? Check out the following three books if you are wanting to learn about Ireland’s history for Irish-American Heritage Month.
The Norman Invasion of Ireland by Richard Roche
This was an extremely enjoyable book to read. Richard Roche very skillfully tells the story of how the Normans invaded Ireland by piecing together bits and pieces of historical texts.
It helped me to understand a very complex time in Ireland’s history.
I do wish that a little more time had been spent discussing the native Irish versus focusing on the Normans. I did read in a review on Goodreads that the author was of Norman descent so I could see how the book is told from a pro-Norman perspective. That being said, I do believe the author used the resources that were available.
I highly recommend this book to anybody that is interested in the history of Ireland.
In Search of Ancient Ireland: The Origins of the Irish from Neolithic Time to the Coming of the English by Carmel McCaffrey and Leo Eaton
This book is a companion volume to a PBS documentary, and because of that it doesn’t go in-depth with the subject. It is more anecdotal in style.
The authors talk about the myths, legends, and archaeology of nomadic hunter-gatherers, how agriculture began, and how Christianity was established in Ireland.
The authors talk about folklore and the true history of Ireland, and the authors going into a lot of detail.
Top 10 of Ireland: 250 Lists About the Emerald Isle
My husband found this book for me years ago because he knew how much I love all things Irish.
This book has 250 lists of all different sorts. Lists about the history, people, and culture of Ireland. Lists about Celtic mythology and Irish High Kings. Even ten ways to cook a potato.
The list of words invented in Ireland is one of my favorite lists. For example bard, the same word in Gaelic meant ‘poet’ and galore from go leor, meaning ‘sufficiency’. What can I say…I have always been a nerd when it comes to words!
2 Books of Irish Poetry and Folklore
Do you love literature or poetry? The next two books are great suggestions to add to your literature collection.
1000 Years of Irish Poetry edited by Kathleen Hoagland
If you like poetry and have an interest in Irish literature you will love this book.
This book is a comprehensive collection of Gaelic and Anglo-Irish poets from pagan times until the 20th century. It is divided into ancient Irish poetry, modern Irish poetry, Anglo-Irish poetry, and anonymous street ballads was first published in 1947.
You will find poetry by greats like Yeats and ancient ballads from over a thousand years ago. It is a great book to have if you want to learn about the history of Irish poetry.
A Treasury of Irish Myth, Legend, and Folklore compiled by Claire Booss
This book is a wonderful combination of Fairy and Fok Tales of the Irish Peasantry edited by W.B. Yeats and Cuchulain of Muirthemne by Lady Gregory.
The first part was edited by Yeats and was a groundbreaking collection of tales of the magical creatures of Ireland.
The second portion is Lady Gregory’s poetic and beautiful retelling of the epic myth of Cuchulain, Ireland’s national hero.
Again, if you are a nerd like me that loves literature you will love this book.
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