The perfect St. Patty's Day read for middle graders!
It's the beginning of March, which means one thing -- St. Patrick's Day is coming! I have always loved St. Patrick's Day, from celebrating with friends to watching our daughter's Irish dance group perform. There's just something fun, festive, and a little bit mischievous about this holiday, isn't there? I love it all. So, when I was sent a copy of a middle-grade novel with a distinctly Irish folklore bent (I mean, we're talking faeries, leprechauns -- the whole nine yards). I was so excited! The book even takes place in Tir Na Nog (which, we come to learn at the hands of the main character, is a real place, not the stuff of legends we've been led to believe).
Introducing Ronan Boyle and the Bridge of Riddles, written by Thomas Lennon and illustrated by John Hendrix.
Ronan Boyle is an unlikely hero, the newest recruit to the secret garda, a very special Irish police force in charge of handling the wrongdoing of a very special population. These aren't just any criminals. Oh, no. Boyle and the garda are charged with the task of wrangling all manner of magical creatures. In this story (which is the first in a series) Ronan's parents are in jail, having been framed by the magical folks for the disappearance of an ancient mummy. Can Ronan prove his parents' innocence?
This is a rollicking, fun story, perfect for this time of year. There's magic mixed with mystery, and a hero who is at once living in a world so utterly removed from ours and also so relatable that we can see ourselves in him. (Who hasn't felt socially awkward or otherwise lacking among our peers at one time or another, especially among the middle-grade crowd?) If you have a middle-grade reader in your house, I highly recommend this book.
Author Thomas Lennon is a writer, comedian, and actor, having worked on such popular projects as Reno 911!, Night at the Museum, and more.
Disclaimer: The book mentioned in this review was sent to me free of charge from Canadian Manda Group. All opinions are my own.