Cover image for The St. Patrick's Day shillelagh
Title:
The St. Patrick's Day shillelagh
Author:
Nolan, Janet.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Morton Grove, Ill. : A. Whitman, 2002.
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 23 x 28 cm
Summary:
On his way from Ireland to America to escape the potato famine, young Fergus carves a shillelagh from his favorite blackthorn tree, and each St. Patrick's Day for generations, his story is retold by one of his descendants.
Language:
English
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 4.1 0.5 64305.
Added Author:
ISBN:
9780807573440
Format :
Book

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PIC BK Juvenile Fiction Holiday
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On Order

Summary

Summary

A shillelagh and family history are passed down from one generation to the next.


Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Gr. 2^-4, younger for reading aloud. In the midst of the Irish potato famine, Fergus' parents make a difficult decision: the family will leave Ireland and sail to America. On the long journey, Fergus carves a branch he cut from a blackthorn tree into a handsome shillelagh. Fergus embraces America, but every year he tells the story of the shillelagh on St. Patrick's Day. When the time comes, he passes the shillelagh and the honor of telling its story to his son saying, "Take this branch as a memory of Ireland." People in each new generation continue to tell the story as a way of celebrating their Irish heritage and remembering the past, even as they continue to help America move forward. Fergus and his descendants symbolize the important role that immigrants play in shaping American history. Stahl's richly textured acrylic paintings complement the text effectively. This heartwarming story, which also celebrates the art of storytelling, can be enjoyed on St. Patrick's Day and all year round. --Lauren Peterson


School Library Journal Review

K-Gr 3-Fergus and his family immigrate to the U.S. during the potato famine. On his last night home, the boy cuts a branch from his favorite blackthorn tree in order to "take a piece of Ireland with him on his journey across the ocean." During the voyage, he whittles this branch into a shillelagh, and on each St. Patrick's Day, he recounts his family's journey from their homeland to America. After many years, he passes the shillelagh and its story on to his son Declan, who in turn passes it on to his son, Emmet. The heirloom makes its way to succeeding generations until Ryan puts it in a closet when he moves to a new house. Years later, his daughter discovers it and, at her father's urging, takes it to her Grandpa Garrett in order to learn its history. He passes the object on to her, saying, "A good story never has to end as long as someone remembers to keep telling it." Though not as spare and poetic as Patricia Polacco's The Keeping Quilt (S & S, 1988), this account provides just enough historical context for each generation to be interesting. Stahl's realistic, acrylic illustrations adeptly convey the passage of time for this engaging family. A nice introduction to Irish immigration and the concepts of family traditions and heritage.-Piper L. Nyman, Fairfield/Suisun Community Library, Fairfield, CA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.