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Gerard Siggins was born in Dublin and has lived almost all his life in the shadow of Lansdowne Road; he’s been attending rugby matches there since he was small enough for his dad to lift him over the turnstiles. He is a sports journalist and worked for the Sunday Tribune for many years. His other books about rugby player Eoin Madden, Rugby Spirit, Rugby Warrior, Rugby Rebel and Rugby Flyer are also published by The O’Brien Press.
Read a Q&A with the author here.
A submarine ingeniously disguised as a floating island, and a state of the art training programme designed to turn five ordinary kids into sporting superstars – Atlantis United is a highly original and intriguing action adventure story. Joe, Kim, Craig, Ajit and Jess enjoy their different sports, but are conscious that they’re certainly not the best in their teams – so why the interest in them by the stranger in the black hat watching their games? Turns out he is a scout but for a really unusual operation – a maverick billionaire business man has created an amazing but top secret programme for junior athletes based on the latest scientific and sports thinking. The sporting detail is fascinating, while tension rises when the kids notice a strange drone spying on them – could they be in danger?
In a nutshell: thrilling, vivid rugby action, history, ghosts Readers who enjoy rugby or any kind of sport will love Gerard Siggins’ Rugby Spirit series with its exciting mix of brilliantly described rugby action and ghost story. Eoin Madden is a very talented player, but he has an extra gift too, he can see and talk to ghosts. Throughout this series, he has met, helped or been helped by ghosts of great rugby players, often solving mysteries in the process. In this latest episode, Eoin has been called up to play for Ireland’s Under 16s no less and amidst the excitement ghosts arrive again and help him avert a potential catastrophe. The rugby scenes are as thrilling to read as ever, the setting and descriptions of Eoin’s home life just as vivid and convincing while the ghostly visitors give it an extra edge. Another winner! ~ Andrea Reece There are more books in this series and readers will also enjoy Tom Palmer’s Rugby Academy series from Barrington Stoke. A Piece of Passion from Editor Helen Carr : Ger Siggins never fails to come up with interesting ghosts to haunt Castlerock, the boarding school Eoin Madden and his gang of rugby-mad friends attend. These spirits and their back-stories – Rugby Runner’s ghost, William Webb-Ellis is credited as the creator of the game of rugby! – always intrigue, but I also love the books because of Ger’s skill in describing the ups and downs of Eoin’s life, both on and off the rugby pitch. Friends and rivals, teachers and coaches are so well drawn, and I really enjoy the matter-of-fact way Eoin deals with everything life throws at him, from captaining the junior cup team to helping ghosts to foil crimes or right old wrongs.
In a nutshell: thrilling rugby action plus ghosts plus mystery | The latest in Gerard Siggins’ Rugby Spirit series is typically filled with rugby action so vividly described that you feel you’re there on the pitch, together with a solid helping of history, ghosts and mystery. Young Eoin Madden is a midfield dynamo always at the centre of the action, whichever team he’s playing for. In this story he plays so well in a provincial championship for youngsters that he’s picked to play for Ireland Under 16s. As though this wasn’t enough, there’s more drama when the Webb-Ellis cup is stolen from the stadium hosting the tournament. Eoin is particularly concerned, because he’s recently become friends with the ghost of William Webb-Ellis, the man credited with the invention of rugby. The mix of on-pitch and off-pitch action with mystery and history is well handled and there’s lots to appeal to all readers, but particularly young rugby fans. There are more books in this series and readers will also enjoy Tom Palmer’s Rugby Academy series from Barrington Stoke. ~ Andrea Reece A Piece of Passion from Editor Helen Carr : Ger Siggins never fails to come up with interesting ghosts to haunt Castlerock, the boarding school Eoin Madden and his gang of rugby-mad friends attend. These spirits and their back-stories – Rugby Runner’s ghost, William Webb-Ellis is credited as the creator of the game of rugby! – always intrigue, but I also love the books because of Ger’s skill in describing the ups and downs of Eoin’s life, both on and off the rugby pitch. Friends and rivals, teachers and coaches are so well drawn, and I really enjoy the matter-of-fact way Eoin deals with everything life throws at him, from captaining the junior cup team to helping ghosts to foil crimes or right old wrongs.
If you have a young rugby fan in your life who hasn’t yet discovered this great series, drop everything and buy a copy now. A mix of irresistible ruby action – Gerard Siggins was a sports journalist and can really write the moves – and historical mystery, it stars talented young player Eoin Madden. Loyalties are tested when he’s given a place at summer camp with his team Munster’s arch rivals Leinster, but Eoin gets that it’s all about playing up and playing the game. Eoin has another unusual talent too, he can see ghosts. This brings him into contact with Alexander Obolensky, whose try for England against the All Blacks in 1936 is rugby legend, and a treasure hunt that dates back to Tsarist Russia. If this sounds far-fetched, it’s completely plausible in the context and gives the story an even broader appeal. There are three more books in this series, and readers will also enjoy Tom Palmer’s Rugby Academy series for Barrington Stoke. ~ Andrea Reece
Five kids with one dream: to become the greatest sports stars in the world! Follow Kim as she trains to be the best at her favourite sport: rugby! Kim has been at the best - and most mysterious! - sports academy in the world for a few months now. She and the rest of her class were selected because they all shared a determination and willingness to improve. Now the gang are on their way to Japan for the rugby World Cup - but they're going to need some more teammates. The best place to find them is another cutting-edge sports school like theirs. But is there another in the world? And can they form a team in time? Read all about Kim and her friends at Sports Academy where, with the help of eccentric, genius coaches, they are transformed into serious players in their own sports.
Five kids with one dream: to become the greatest sports stars in the world! Joe knows he has no chance of catching the mysterious scout's eye - he loves football, but he's by far the worst player in his club. Despite this, he's whisked away to a remote island and teamed up with four other kids: Kim, Craig, Ajit and Jess. But there's more to this island than meets the eye, as Joe learns it is home to the world's greatest Sports Academy. With the help of eccentric, genius coaches, he and his new friends are gradually transformed into serious players in their own sports. But the Academy's secrets are wanted by many others ... Is someone tracking them? Will Joe and Atlantis United escape the clutches of their mysterious pursuers? And can they possibly win their first big game deep in the jungles of Brazil?
It looks like Eoin Madden's busiest term ever! He's Castlerock College's star player and he's been called up for Ireland in the Under 16 Four Nations - how will he juggle sport and school work? But his biggest challenge of all goes way beyond his own concerns and right to the heart of Irish rugby. When his oldest and best ghostly friend calls for help, can Eoin and his band of heroes their deadliest mystery yet? Take a dive into history -with some help from rugby legends of the past!
Schools rugby star Eoin Madden has never been busier - he's captain of the Junior Cup team, he's training with Leinster and hoping to be chosen for the Ireland team for the first-ever Under 16 World Cup. But it's not all fun and games, as Eoin also has to deal with grumpy friends, teachers piling on the homework - AND a ghost on a mission that goes back to the very origins of the game of rugby. But what does the restless spirit need, and can Eoin help him? Books, crooks and rucks - it's all to play for this term!
Eoin has been chosen for the Junior development squad so over the summer he gets to go to Dublin for a rugby summer school. Arising out of that, he and his new friends are taken on a trip to Twickenham, London, to play & watch rugby. While there, he meets a ghost: Prince Obolensky, a Russian who played rugby for England, scored a world famous try against New Zealand in Twickenham and later joined the RAF and died in WW2. The fourth book in the Rugby Spirit series.
Eoin Madden's having a busy term with friend issues, schoolwork and new rugby challenges; he's been moved up to train with the Junior Cup team, which is hard work, plus there's trouble in his dormitory as mobile phones start going missing! But as usual there are ghostly goings-on in Castlerock school - what's the link between Eoin's history lessons and the new spirit he's spotted wearing a Belvedere rugby jersey? ... Historical and modern mysteries combine in this intriguing tale of rugby, rebellion and ghosts. 'Beautifully crafted by Siggins, this is a book that will thrill any rugby-mad youngster while delighting sports fans (of any age) with an interest in entertaining storytelling.' Irish Daily Mail on Rugby Warrior
It's a new school term and Eoin Madden has new responsibilities. He's now captain of the Under 14s team and has to deal with friction between his friend Rory and new boy Dylan as they thrash it out for a place as scrum-half. And away from the pitch Eoin has his hands full. He starts work on a project about Irish-born All Black Dave Gallaher who died in World War I. Then history becomes reality when an old book brings Eoin a lot closer to the rugby legend than he ever thought possible ... Fast-paced action, mysterious spirits and feuding friends - it's a season to remember!
`Ok, lads, you have everything you need to win this game. So go out and do it ,' said the coach. Eoin's not sure if it will be so easy! He's just started a new school ... and a new sport. Everyone at school is mad about rugby, but Eoin hasn't even held a rugby ball before! With new rules to learn, new friends to make and new teachers to get a handle on, he really doesn't need to have Richie Duffy, the resident bully, picking him out as his latest target! And just who is this guy, Brian, who looks so out-of-date, but gives great rugby advice?