Reader Reviewed The Bombs That Brought Us Together by Brian Conaghan

The Bombs That Brought Us Together

Written by Brian Conaghan

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The Lovereading4Kids comment

Set in a bleak world and reminiscent of Orwell’s 1984, The Bombs That Brought Us Together is nonetheless a funny, tender, surprising and uplifting novel.

Charlie’s life should be pretty miserable: he lives in Little Town, where everyone spies on everyone else, and the population is caught between their oppressive rulers and violent criminals who run the black market. A bombing campaign and invasion by their neighbours in the Old Country makes things even worse. Somehow though Charlie remains positive. He makes friends with Pav, a refugee from the Old Country, and together they turn an old shed into a homely refuge until circumstances leave Charlie owing favours to the terrifying Big Man, and facing an awful choice. Decent, determined and brighter than he makes out, Charlie finds a solution. Charlie’s voice and outlook keep the tone light despite the darkness of setting and subject matter.

Hugely entertaining and highly original.

Sally Gardner’s Maggot Moon and Meg Rosoff’s How I Live Now are more examples of brilliant, thought-provoking dystopian fiction, while After Tomorrow by Gillian Cross offers similar insight into the refugee experience.

Reader Reviews

Kids love to read and so in addition to our Lovereading4kids expert opinion some of our Lovereading4kids Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title. Click here to read the full reviews.

  • Isaac Phelan, age 12 - 'A book which anyone would find impossible to put of my favourite books I've reviewed so far.'
  • Felicity Kerswell, age 13 - 'This is not my normal genre of book, it took me a while to get into  but it got better and better!'
  • Callum Broomfield, age 11 - 'The thing that really makes this book work is how the problems reflected in the book could easily be projected in to a real life worst case situation.'
  • Jodi Coffman, age 14 - 'I really loved this book and it was a real page turner.  It gripped me from the beginning and I recommend it to anyone looking for a slight twist on a war type book.'
  • Jack Brendon Smith, age 11 - 'Full of action, adventure and tension!!I was so glued to this book, I finished it in three days!!!'
  • Eloise Mae Clarkson, age 14 - 'The characters were different and I loved the way they interacted with each other. Overall I enjoyed this book and would rate it five out of five stars.'
  • Edel Waugh - 'I really enjoyed this story about this dystopian world.  The book also covered topics such as friendship, bullying and survival in hard times.'
  • Ella O'Gorman, age 11 - 'The Bombs That Brought Us Together is a powerful story about the friendship that develops between the two central characters, Charlie Law, a native of Little Town and Pavel Duda, a refugee.'
  • Josh, age 14 - 'A very deep and well thought out read.'
  • Sayna Ahluwalia, age 12 - 'The story follows the life of Charlie Law who leads a simple life. But one day, he meets Pav Duda. And when the bombs come down on Little Town their lives change forever.'
  • Emily Kirby, age 11 - 'The Bombs That Brought Us Together is a brilliant thrilling book I really enjoyed it and highly recommend it to others. It’s not suitable for younger readers.'
  • Joseph Kinder, age 12 - 'It is an amazing book.  I read it very quickly, because the plot is so engaging that you just can't stop thinking about it, and you need to carry on.'


The Bombs That Brought Us Together by Brian Conaghan

Fourteen-year-old Charlie Law has lived in Little Town, on the border with Old Country, all his life. He knows the rules: no going out after dark; no drinking; no litter; no fighting. You don't want to get on the wrong side of the people who run Little Town. When he meets Pavel Duda, a refugee from Old Country, the rules start to get broken. Then the bombs come, and the soldiers from Old Country, and Little Town changes for ever. Sometimes, to keep the people you love safe, you have to do bad things. As Little Town's rules crumble, Charlie is sucked into a dangerous game. There's a gun, and a bad man, and his closest friend, and his dearest enemy. Charlie Law wants to keep everyone happy, even if it kills him. And maybe it will...

Perfect for readers of Patrick Ness, John Boyne and Malorie Blackman.

About the Author

Brian Conaghan was raised in the Scottish town of Coatbridge. While at school he performed miserably in most areas, however the University of Glasgow took pity on him and dished out, among other things, a Master of Letters in Creative Writing. Throughout the years Conaghan has been a painter and decorator, a barman, a DJ, an actor and a teacher. He currently lives in Dublin with his wife and daughter.

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Book Info


368 pages


Brian Conaghan
More books by Brian Conaghan


Bloomsbury Publishing PLC

Publication date

21st April 2016




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