Age 14 An Irish Soldier Boy by Geert Spillebeen


Age 14 An Irish Soldier Boy by Geert Spillebeen

Set during the First World War, Age 14 is a heartbreaking and powerful story about growing up quickly in the face of war. Twelve-year-old Patrick Condon wants to escape his impoverished and tedious life in Ballybricken, County Waterford, so he hatches a plan. Not wanting to wait until he is old enough to join at sixteen, Patrick gives the army the name, John, and age, seventeen, of his older brother, and is enlisted. In the army, Patrick, now John, makes friends easily. The man's world is just what he always desired; if only there was more action. John gets all the action he is looking for when the war breaks out following the murder of the Austrian Crown Prince in 1914. Before he knows it, he is training with bayonets but it is nearly a game so long as no blood is spilled. The battle seems so far away. But the war is very real, and it is only a matter of time before John is at the front of it all. Based on a true story, this faction is about dreams, about war and peace, and the lives lost to achieve both. It is about a young boy named Patrick, and named John, the adventure and glory he so craved, and the tragic way he achieved both.


'Combines facts with speculation, a riveting account'

'Powerful anti-war novel'

'A captivating, factual story for age 12+'

About the Author

GEERT SPILLEBEEN lives in Belgium and is a journalist. His first book, Kipling's Choice, was a 2006 ALA Best Book for Young Adults. TERESE EDELSTEIN lived in Holland for many years. She now teaches in Michigan, where she lives with her husband. She translated Geert Spillebeen's previous book, Kipling's Choice.

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Book Info


224 pages


Geert Spillebeen
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Publication date

10th September 2010



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