Sunday, March 13, 2016

Book Review: The Wolf and the Shield

The more children's titles I read from Pauline Kids the more I become convinced that they have some of the best books out there for helping children, especially those in the 7-12 year old age range, to come to a deeper understanding and appreciation of their Catholic faith.
Recently I had the opportunity to review The Wolf and the Shield, which is the first in a series entitled Friends with the Saints.  The book is about an eleven year old boy named Kieran that is set in fifth-century Ireland.  The main character's adventure has him meet up with St. Patrick and, in time, this transforms him.

The story is a page turner that I believe will be enjoyed by both boys and girls.  What I like most about this adventure story is how it weaves the Catholic faith and morals throughout the story.  The story also helps young readers to realize that the saints are our friends and are approachable.

This book is best suited for children ages 7-10 or second through fifth grade.  It's a chapter book with a few black and white illustrations sprinkled throughout the book.  The book will likely be a bit challenging for a very young reader, but will be more of an enjoyable, fast read for the upper age range of the target audience.  It's a story that will leave young readers feeling like they know St. Patrick better.

I particularly like that the book had a section at the beginning entitled People and Places.  It gave pronunciation guides for the names of some of the characters, and defined some terms the reader would encounter throughout the story.  I liked that thoughtful addition to the story because, in the case of the explanation of the places, it gave the reader some context up front so they didn't feel bewildered with uncertain terms while reading the story.

The end of the book has a list of discussion questions.  These are great for talking with your child about the story and also about how they might apply some of the situations from the story to their own life, particularly as pertains to living out our faith.  The discussion questions are one of the features I appreciate in the books from Pauline Kids.  You can tell that they really do want their readers to understand their faith well and apply it to their lives.

I look forward to seeing what saints will be featured next in the Friends with the Saints series.  I'm sure they won't disappoint.

I was provided with a review copy of The Wolf and the Shield by the publisher, Pauline Kids, in exchange for my honest review.  Visit Pauline Media for more information on this title or to take a peek inside.

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