Friday, March 04, 2016

The Wolf and the Shield (Middle Grade) Book Review

The Wolf and The Shield
By Sherry Weaver Smith
Illustrated by Nicholas McNally
Pauline Books & Media (Jan. 2016)

From Amazon:

Kieran is braver and stronger than most eleven-year-old boys. And ever since his father's death, he's been doing his best to take care of his mother and little brother. In fifth-century Ireland, though, there aren't many options. When Kieran rescues a wolf pup and meets Saint Patrick, his choices become even more difficult. Should he leave home to join Carrick's warriors? Will someone discover the wolf he's been hiding and kill it? But the hardest question for Kieran to answer is the one Patrick had asked him on a moonlit night: What does your heart hunt for? Join Kieran as he cares for an orphaned wolf pup and searches for a shield strong enough to protect everything-and everyone-he loves. Filled with well-researched facts about the people, animals, and customs of fifth-century Ireland, The Wolf and the Shield is historical fiction for children ages 7-10. Exciting and fast-paced, this adventure novel explores what friendship with a saint might be like, showing Saint Patrick as approachable and understanding of the challenges of a young boy. The Wolf and the Shield: An Adventure with Saint Patrick will stimulate young imaginations to realize that the saints are holy but also human and approachable, and they are always good friends.

My Review:

The Wolf and the Shield by Sherry Weaver Smith is an inspirational read for children not so much about St. Patrick, but as one of the "Friends with the Saints" series the story is about the influence the saint had on the people of pre-Christian Ireland. I believe that stories set in this time period for both children and adults are too few. This helps fill that gap, taking readers back to the world of ancient Ireland and its wolves, tribal conflicts, and struggles of everyday survival. It tells the very real battle most of us have with trust and self-esteem and the answers that faith in Patrick's God holds. It's an engaging, fast-paced book that young readers will enjoy.
This book was provided to me at no charge from the publisher. I was under no obligation to provide a positive review and the opinions I have expressed are mine alone.

Cindy Thomson is a writer and an avid genealogy enthusiast. Her love of history and her Scots-Irish heritage have inspired much of her writing, including her new Ellis Island series. Cindy is also the author of Brigid of Ireland and Celtic Wisdom: Treasures from Ireland. She combined her love of history and baseball to co-author the biography Three Finger: The Mordecai Brown Story. Cindy has written on a regular basis for numerous online and print publications and is a former mentor for the Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writers Guild. She is also a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and the Historical Novel Society. Cindy and her husband have three grown sons and live in central Ohio. Visit her online at