Sunday, April 6, 2008

Passing the torch: sharing Irish history with young people

In my post entitled Ready for battle: history for kids over at Small-leaved Shamrock I explained my desire to bring history and genealogy alive to young people. As I stated there, it is important to me to share what I've learned about my family's history and its place in the overall context of world history with my children, my nieces, nephews, second cousins, etc. I find joy in the knowledge that the next generation has an understanding of the sacrifices of those that lived before them and takes pride in their heritage.

I was well into adulthood before I had even basic knowledge about the Great Irish Famine, not to mention Irish history in general. With the intention of preventing that sort of "lapse of memory" within future generations, I would like to continue to share with children what I've learned about my own family history and the history of the Irish. On the sidebar of A light that shines again and my other blogs Small-leaved Shamrock and 100 Years in America, you can find Related Reading lists that include not only books for adults, but also books geared to children of various ages.

I enjoyed learning about one young lady who has taken an interest in her own Irish heritage to heart - so much so that at the age of 17 she has published a book of fiction based on her interest in Irish family history and culture.

Amanda Burris' novel, entitled "Remember The Dance: The Story of Nora Shanahan", was the result of an interest in her family's heritage and her research into all things Irish, including the Gaelic language and Irish dance. A homeschool student in her final year of high school, Amanda spent several years writing the book. According to the Remember the Dance website, the book gives readers a chance to:

Come explore the rich history that has long been forgotten by many and discover the difficult, yet exciting life of Nora Shanahan, a spirited, young Irish girl whose love of dancing brings her through times of starvation and oppression. But when the time comes to leave the land she loves so much, will the remembrance of the dance keep her spirits alive, even in a frightening, unwelcoming new land of America?
You can read more about Amanda's book in the following online articles: Teen Writer Brings History to Life and Kannapolis teenager publishes novel based on Irish ancestry.

Thanks to Dear Myrtle for sharing the story of Amanda Burris' book.

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