Secrets and Shadows Two Friends in a World at War by Brian Gallagher


Secrets and Shadows Two Friends in a World at War by Brian Gallagher

When her home is destroyed in the Luftwaffe bombing of the North Strand, Dublin in 1941, Grace Ryan is forced to move in with relatives in a different part of the city. There she meets Barry Malone, an English boy sent to neutral Ireland to escape the terrible air raids on his native city of Liverpool. Wary of each other at first, Grace and Barry become friends when she acts to stop him being bullied in his new school. Barry later saves Grace from losing her part-time job in a shop and, with school about to end, a summer of fun stretches before them in the sports club run by his teacher, Mr Pawlek. However, Barry begins to suspect Mr Pawlek of spying for the Nazis and he enrols Grace in his attempts to find proof. But what starts as an exciting challenge becomes increasingly risky, and their friendship is put to the test when their very lives hang in the balance.


'will give readers insight into life during the Second World War and will appeal to readers of 10+ who enjoy mystery or historical fiction'

'deftly weaving historic fact and period detail into a fictional but nevertheless entirely credible story ... nail-biting'

'would hopefully encourage further study about the effects of war on ordinary people'

'heart-stopping action likely to hold readers aged nine to teens in its thrall'

'a turbulent historical backdrop based on carefully researched detail'

'thrilling novel is a window on the past'

'story of friendship and suspicion, excitement and intrigue'

'Secrets and Shadows is an exciting children's wartime adventure with lots of factual details and historical snippets to give it a good feel of time and place but without over-shadowing the plot... this should be a book to appeal to both boys and girls and -- 'a refreshing change to read a book set in Ireland during the war' 'had me gripped from the start 'confident and reluctant readers will be richly rewarded by the truly gripping climax

's Recommended Reads 2012 'between a historical novel and a spy caper'

's Recommended Reads 2012'

About the Author

Brian Gallagher is a full-time writer whose plays and short stories have been produced in Ireland, Britain and Canada. He has worked extensively in radio and television, writing many dramas and documentaries. He collaborated with composer Shaun Purcell on the musical, Larkin, for which he wrote the book and lyrics, and on Winds of Change for RTE's Lyric FM. Brian is the author of five books of historical fiction for young readers: Across the Divide, set during the 1913 Dublin Lockout; Taking Sides, which takes place against the backdrop of the Civil War; Secrets and Shadows, a spy novel that begins with the North Strand bombings during World War II; Stormclouds, set in Northern Ireland during the turbulent summer of 1969, and the hugely popular Friend or Foe, set during the 1916 Easter Rising. Brian is also the author of four adult novels. Brian lives with his family in Dublin. Find out more about Brian's books at

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Book Info


224 pages
Interest Age: From 9


Brian Gallagher
More books by Brian Gallagher


Publication date

24th September 2012



Publisher Profile

O'Brien Press Ltd is an imprint of O'Brien


The O'Brien Press is Ireland's leading general publisher of both adult and children's books. Our list covers a huge range, including biography, humour, photography, history, art, fiction, politics, cookery, sport, music, memoir, true crime and travel and we are constantly expanding into new and exciting areas.

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