By March 23, 2016 Read More →

Irish Children’s Historical Fiction!

20160323_123658We have a fantastic selection of all things Irish in our children’s section, just in time to get you prepared for the 1916 centenary celebrations! It can often be hard to get kids interested in historical fiction but luckily children’s manager Ruth is here with her pick of the best in Irish children’s historical fiction on the 1916 Rising

rising1The Guns of Easter by Gerard Whelan:

By far the most comprehensive of all of books on the topic of the Rising, Gerard Whelan’s novel covers a multitude of topics ranging from women’s role in the Rising, to the conditions of the inner city slums. Told through the perspective of 10 year old Jimmy Conway, the events of both the Rising and World War One are brought to life. With his father away at the Front and his Uncle Mick fighting among the rebels, Jimmy fights for survival unsure of where his loyalties lie.

Coming highly recommended by our children’s section manager Ruth, this is the most comprehensive novel published on the topic of the Rising for children.

 rising2No Peace for Amelia by Siobhán Parkinson

The conflicts in Europe and Ireland in 1916 bring heartbreak and divided loyalties into the lives of Amelia Pim and her friend, Mary Ann. Amelia’s boyfriend, Frederick, goes off to fight in the Great War, leaving his pacifist Quaker family shocked, and Amelia wondering if she will ever see him again. Meanwhile, Mary Ann’s brother, Patrick, becomes involved in the Easter Rising and seeks refuge in the Pim household. The girls can protect Patrick, but what will happen to Frederick, so far away?

Spanning the weeks prior to the Rising and the rebellion itself, Amelia a fifteen year old Quaker growing up in an ever changing Ireland. Parkinson’s novels give a fantastic voice to the often marginalized perspectives within Irish society and cover issues such as Irish women’s role in society and the position of Quakers in Ireland.

rising3Name Upon Name by Sheena Wilkinson

It’s Belfast and it’s 1916. Britain are at war with Germany, Helen’s family seems to be at war with itself. Her cousin Michael wants to join up, even if it means being disowned by his family. A horrible twist of fate sends him into action in the Easter Rising – but not in a way he could ever have imagined. Helen’s other cousin, Sandy, an officer in the British army, has faced a desperate dilemma at the Front. Sandy’s experience makes Helen realise the mortal danger Michael is in. Only she can save him.

The most recently published novel on the topic of the Rising, Name Upon Name is unusually set in Belfast, giving the Northern Irish perspective on the events of the rebellion. Helen is of a mixed marriage, with her favourite cousin Sandy away at the Front and her other cousin Michael unsure whether to fight for Ireland or Britain, Helen witnesses the conflict of the Rising from both perspectives. This is an unusual approach that makes for an unforgettable book.

rising4Molly’s Diary; The Easter Rising 1916 by Patricia Murphy

Easter 1916. The Great War rages in Europe with two hundred thousand Irishmen fighting in the British Army. But a small group of Irish nationalists refuse to fight for Britian and strike a blow for Irish freedom. Caught up in the action in Dublin is twelve-year-old Molly O’Donovan. Her own family is plunged into danger on both sides of the conflict. Her father, a technical officer with the Post Office, dodges the crossfire as he tries to restore the telegraph lines, while her wayward brother runs messages for the rebels. Molly, a trained First Aider, risks her own safety to help the wounded on both sides.

Made popular by it’s mention on The Late Late Toy Show, Molly’s Diary records all of the main action of the Rising with a very user friendly approach.

rising5The Young Rebels by Morgan Llywelyn

St. Enda’s is no ordinary school, and Padraic Pearse is no ordinary headmaster. His pupils are inspired by his vision of freedom and an Irish Republic, and John Joe and his friend Roger see the Easter Rising as their chance to fight for Ireland’s freedom. The two boys are horrified to learn that they are too young to take part; they disobey orders to stay away from the city centre and quickly become caught up in the dramatic events of the rebellion. Called to be brave and resourceful beyond their years, they witness events that change their lives forever.

A fantastic fictional eye-witness account of The Rising, this is an exciting book that also focuses on the human side of the events.

rising6The Blood Upon the Rose by Gerry Hunt

The Easter 1916 Rising: an unlikely band of freedom fighters – teachers, poets, writers, patriots, trade unionists – declare an Irish Republic. From this dramatic gesture, a nation is born…

The rebellion that set Ireland free, told as a graphic novel.

rising7One Good Turn by Brian Gallagher

This years World Book Day book by Brian Gallagher has proven very popular with children.

Thirteen-year-old Gerry Quinn has a tough life… Since his parents died, he’s been living in a cold, ramshackle cottage by the Tolka and working on his uncle’s slop cart. So when looting breaks out during the 1916 Rising, he takes an chance and joins in. Months later, just as Gerry’s luck seems, to be turning around, disaster strikes: a witness to his crime threatens to turn him in to the police. Fearing that he will lose his job or be sent to a brutal reformatory school, Gerry asks his friends Emer and Jack for help. Jack and Emer have their own secrets from the Easter Rising and helping Gerry is fraught with danger. Does one good turn always deserve another?

For more information on Irish children’s historical fiction, or any of the above titles, simply contact us.

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