Friend or Foe 1916: Which side are you on? by Brian Gallagher

Friend or Foe 1916: Which side are you on?

Written by Brian Gallagher
Illustrated by


Friend or Foe 1916: Which side are you on? by Brian Gallagher

It's time to choose: friendship, family or loyalty to the cause. When Emer Davey saves her neighbour Jack Madigan from drowning, it seems that they will be friends forever. But eight months later, they find themselves on opposite sides in a life-or-death struggle, as Dublin is torn apart by the Easter Rising. Emer's father is an officer in the Irish Volunteers who believes that armed rebellion is the only way to gain independence from Britain. His daughter has inherited his passion and is determined to help the rebels in any way she can. Jack's dad is a sergeant in the Dublin Metropolitan Police. They share a deep respect for the law and are sure that Home Rule can be achieved through peaceful politics and helping with the war effort. These two young friends find their loyalties challenged as the terrifying reality of war sets in - and the Rising hits closer to home than either could have imagined. 'Beautiful writing' Sunday Independent on Stormclouds


this timely historical novel offers an insight into one of the defining moments in Irish history through the use of strong fictional characters with whom readers can empathise -- Evening Echo an exciting adventure story ... captures the atmosphere of revolution-torn Dublin -- Irish Examiner this is a fast moving, exciting, and informative historical novel ... this book will help teenagers to understand the Rising of 1916 and what formed the Republic ... extremely well-written ... by a skilled Irish writer, who sees both sides ... In an age when forgiveness and reconciliation are too rare in the popular media, it is refreshing to read of youthful kindness and courage, duty and family unity. This is the best children's book I've seen -- Historical Novel Society a vivid novel on 1916 for senior classes ... Brian Gallagher has written a fast-moving historical novel ... this book would be ideal for the senior classes as an introduction to the Easter Rising -- InTouch Magazine would make a great introduction to the historical period for young readers and could be very useful as a springboard for further learning on the period and I have no doubt it will be a popular choice in homes and classrooms given this and next year's 1916 commemoration celebrations -- Gallagher is to be commended for deviating from the dominant narrative in his representation of the Rising ... a refreshingly ambivalent reading of the Rising that will be welcome to anyone interested in Irish history -- Children's Books Ireland Recommended Reading Guide lets readers draw their own conclusions about the political issues while showing that friendship remains more important than law. A lovely and well-written novel whose appeal stateside may be limited by American readers

-- beautiful writing, great character development, fascinating ... a page-turner that is difficult to put down ... a compelling and rewarding reading experience -- Voya Magazine a fast moving and informative read -- Sunday Independent drama and adventure aplenty ... informative, thought-provoking ... highly recommended -- Tuam Herald a great book for children looking to learn about the Easter Rising through fiction. Gallagher has created a thought-provoking and informative read, with just enough historical facts without letting the storyline buckle under the weight of heavy subject matter ... A great book for both the school-room and for people with an interest in the time period themselves, Friend or Foe is a balanced, refreshing and entertaining book that stands out amongst so many others. Highly recommend --

About the Author

Brian Gallagher is the author of Stormclouds (winner of Fingal Libraries' Battle of the Book), Secrets and Shadows, Across the Divide and Taking Sides, as well as four books for adults. He was a scriptwriter on RTE's long-running drama Fair City. He lives with his family in Dublin.

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Book Info


240 pages
Interest Age: From 10 years


Brian Gallagher
More books by Brian Gallagher


O'Brien Press Ltd

Publication date

2nd March 2015



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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