Don Brown 2002
The true story of Columcille, a pagan born in Ireland who converted to Christianity and founded monastaries throughout Ireland and Scotland. He worked as a scribe, creating a copy of the psalms that caused a fight among the clans. But he promoted learning and "through his efforts the embers of literature and scholarship, nearly extinguished during the Dark Ages were re-ignited."
A revered figure in Celtic history, Columcille left a legacy of learning that illuminated a corner of the Dark Ages.
The process of writing using the tools and materials of that time period is described. Also in the back is more biographical information. A nice compliment to this book is the movie The Secret of Kells. The artwork is incredible. The kids and I loved it (there were a few scary parts for Charlotte). We ended up looking up photographs of the real Book of Kells (which I didn't know anything about before.)
Books were made and dispatched, like small boats on a a dark and wild sea, to places where reading and writing had been forgotten or ignored. The books made colonies of learning and people's minds, once dark with ignorance, were brightened.