Janna Tierney may only be 18 and just starting university, but she can proudly boast of having written her first children’s book. Kerry, Ireland A.D. 800 tells the story of Medieval Irish people through the perspective of four children.
Set in Ireland’s majestic Ring of Kerry in the year 800, the tale is an inspiring coming-of-age adventure that deals with life lessons on the backdrop of an educational and entertaining plot. The book is for ages eight and up, and Tierney said she wanted to make sure to incorporate ancient Irish folklore and mythology to make the story culturally rich.
Tierney, a freshaman at the University of St.Thomas in Houston began writing the book as a class project. A homeschooled student, Tierney’s mother suggested she use a story she wrote in seventh grade as a starting point.
“From the beginning, it was very self-motivated,” Tierney said. “I loved creating the characters and putting in little bits of literary techniques that the kids could find, like foreshadowing, allusion to allegory and character development. All of these things are really important for them to recognize, and it sparks their literary imagination.”
Tierney said she did extensive research to depict faith as it relates to daily life as accurately as she could. “In the course of Irish history, faith played a major role in developing and shaping the history,” she explains. “It definitely portrays that faith is active in people’s lives and that God and the intervention of the Saints is there and real.”
She added that the most of the books in this genre don’t represent the Catholic church in a positive and she wanted her work to counter that narrative: “I wanted to share this story of Western Civilization as a common heritage. We were doing some really cool things in the monastery, some great thinking was going on, and it’s really down played in the United States.”
Source: University of St.Thomas