Stormclouds New Friends. Old Differences. by Brian Gallagher


Stormclouds New Friends. Old Differences. by Brian Gallagher

Big changes are coming to late-Sixties Belfast. At first life seems normal for Sammy and Maeve, two children from the opposing republican and loyalist communities. Sammy tries to avoid trouble with his unemployed father, while Maeve has lived with her aunt and uncle since her mother's death. When twins Dylan and Emma Goldman move from Washington to Belfast they strike up friendships with Maeve and Sammy. Gradually the nationalist girl and loyalist boy overcome their suspicions of each other, and all four children become friends. But even as they have fun at local sports clubs, attend the Goldman's barbeques, and secretly make their own radio programmes, they can't ignore the trouble that is slowing gripping the country. And when the simmering tensions in Northern Ireland erupt into violence it threatens not just their friendships - but their very lives.


poignant ... absorbing -- The Swallows Nest the impressive achievement of this historical novel is to present complex events lucidly and to convey their intensity. Readers of eleven upwards will be absorbed by the dramatic events which impact upon the lives of the four main characters -- School Librarian Magazine the reality of violence and its aftermath is well done -- Historical Novels Review would make a very good introduction to the history of the Northern Ireland conflict for children in their early teens -- Historical Novels Review should be compulsory reading for every Irish young person -- captures a volatile Belfast so well -- couldn't put the book down -- brings the past to life in a very readable, engaging way -- while readers are familiar with wars that wrack distant parts of the world, this accurate depiction of violence in a familiar and seemingly benign area will surprise and educate many-a worthy accomplishment -- Kirkus Reviews just beautiful writing -- Sunday Independent ideal for age ten and up -- Sunday Independent without glossing over violence or partisan attitudes, the book delineates the conflict in an age-appropriate manner -- Children's Books Ireland Recommended Reads Guide 2013 thoroughly-researched historical fiction -- Gallagher constructs a good tale, and doesn't shy away from tragedy -- 10 out of 10 ... will never want to put it down ... a real page-turner -- Brian Gallagher makes you feel as if you are really there --

About the Author

Brian Gallagher was born in Dublin. He 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. His latest show is Whiskey in the Jar, a musical for which he wrote the book and lyrics, with music by Dave 'Doc' O'Connor. His adult novels Invincible, Flight, Payback and Pursuit have won widespread praise, and in more recent times he has concentrated on historical fiction for older children, writing the novels Across the Divide, Taking Sides, Secrets and Shadows and Storm Clouds. He is currently working on a new novel. Outside of writing his interests include travel, tennis, music and hill walking. He lives with his family in Dublin.

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Book Info


224 pages
Interest Age: From 10


Brian Gallagher
More books by Brian Gallagher


Publication date

2nd September 2013



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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