The Wolf and the Shield: An Adventure with Saint Patrick (Friends with the Saints) Reviews

UPDATE TIME: 2018-04-21 
Review Score: 4 out of 5 star From 11 user ratings

"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.
" said.

"“The Wolf and the Shield: An Adventure with Saint Patrick” by Sherry Weaver Smith, reads like a heartwarming parable. Although it is ostensibly a children’s story, ideal for ages seven through twelve, this lovely book hit all the requisite high notes to hold my rapt attention: that it is set in pre-Christian, fifth century Ireland; that its language walks the fine line between lyricism and economy; that the page turning story is creative and unpredictable; that the fulcrum of action concerns an orphaned wolf pup. Give me a dog story in any variation, and you have my full attention. In this particular story, author Sherry Weaver Smith had me at “Yip.”
“The Wolf and the Shield” is a masterfully crafted tale. In the beginning, we meet Kieran, an eleven year old boy burdened with a philosophical quandary on the brink of his maturity. In the wake of his father’s death, it falls to him to provide for his family, and the seeming means to do so arrives in the form of a tempting offer to join his clan chieftain’s ranks as a warrior, assigned to protect and defend the clan, albeit it by dubious means. It is a den of predatory wolves that holds the biggest threat to this particular region of agrarian, Northern Ireland. When Kieran sets out to prove his worthiness in his own wolf hunt, he meets Saint Patrick, in a forest, who poses the question, “What does your heart hunt for?” and guides him to a clearing, where an orphaned wolf pup awaits, to which Kieran quickly becomes attached.
This is a story with integrity and moral. It is laced with Christian theology and rife with the lagniappe of accompanying illustrations. “The Wolf and the Shield” will pull at the heartstrings of all age groups. It has the power to edify the young and the ability to reaffirm anyone’s faith, as it begs the timeless question, “Of what is your “shield” comprised?”
" said.

" This is a great adventure story. Bonus that it shows us how the saints actually befriend us. My own kids loved this book and were worried that I would have to return the book to Pauline Books and Media - as they provided me the book at no charge in hopes that I would provide a (good) review. Rarely short on words, you can find my full review here. " said.

""The Wolf and the Shield" is a short and charming children's book that can easily be read aloud in a few sittings. When I first saw it advertised, I assumed it was a book about Saint Patrick himself. Later I spotted the name of the series, "Friends with the Saints," which struck me as a delightful twist and made me even more eager to read it. I loved the idea of a child -- in this case, a boy named Kieran -- meeting a saint and having his life changed by the encounter. Of course Saint Patrick makes cameo appearances throughout the story, but Kieran is the central character.

The first page of the story plunges us straight into action. Eleven-year-old Kieran, who takes care of his family following the death of his father, is in the woods hunting a wolf. He's trying to prove his courage and strength to his clan's leader, Carrick, and hopes thereby to earn a reward and become a warrior. But what he brings home is the last thing he expected. Instead of the trophy of a dead wolf, he ends up with her live pup. To his own surprise, he hasn't the heart to kill it. As the story progresses, a beautiful friendship springs up between the boy and the baby wolf.

While Kieran is struggling with his desires to become a great warrior, his friend Ida is gently drawn to higher things by the example and preaching of a holy priest, who turns out to be Saint Patrick. She tells him of a mighty shield that Patrick has, and Kieran wants that shield. Little does he know it is not what he expects it to be. The adventure begins!

This is a heartwarming tale of friendship, sacrifice, and courage which children will surely enjoy. My only complaint is that the book seemed too short. Right when you're really getting into it, it ends. Some of the characters could have been developed and more depth added if the book had been longer.

I look forward to further books in Sherry Weaver Smith's "Friends with the Saints" series. I will certainly be keeping an eye out for them!

" said.

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