Title: Bog Child
Author: Siobhan Dowd
Summary: Fergus McCann is living in troubled times. At sixteen, he is preparing for his college entrance exams, which he hopes will take him from his small border village in Northern Ireland to Aberdeen for medical school. Life at home has become more and more stressful since his brother was sent to jail for working with the IRA. Fergus takes solace in his early morning runs through the mountains and conversations with his peaceful uncle Tally. It is when cutting turf for fuel one morning with Tally that Fergus makes an incredible discovery: A tiny body buried in the peat. Who is this bog child?
This pitch-perfect historical novel addresses not only the political turmoil of Northern Ireland in the 1980s, but also first love, loyalty, sacrifice and forgiveness. It opens a window to a not-so-distant time, and has moments of sparkling humor as well as tragedy. The troubled history of his land are magnified by the story of the bog child, revealed through flashbacks. In the end, Fergus must come to terms with the chaos all around him, decide what he wants his life to be, and discover his place in the world.
Who will like this book?: Anyone looking for a great historical novel, or coming of age story. I truly cannot think of anyone who would not enjoy this unforgettable book.
If you like this, try this: A Swift Pure Cry, also by Dowd. For more on Ireland in the Iron Age, read Hush by Donna Jo Napoli. For older teens looking for information about the hunger strikers, try Nothing But an Unfinished Song by Dennis O’Hearn.
Recommended by: Nicole, Teen Librarian