A Boy From Ireland: A Novel
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A Boy From Ireland: A Novel

by Marie Raphael
     
 

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“An excellent, moving story” (Midwest Book Review) of an immigrant boy who triumphs over prejudice.
1901. A half-Irish boy is beaten in Ireland for his English blood, then again in New York City, where Irish and English, blacks and whites also hate based on historical wrongs. Drawn in at first, he breaks an ordeal of bullying and violence, helped by

Overview

“An excellent, moving story” (Midwest Book Review) of an immigrant boy who triumphs over prejudice.
1901. A half-Irish boy is beaten in Ireland for his English blood, then again in New York City, where Irish and English, blacks and whites also hate based on historical wrongs. Drawn in at first, he breaks an ordeal of bullying and violence, helped by a black employer, a new friend, and a fiery thoroughbred horse. “Unsparing in its depiction of prejudice…heartwarming in its portrayal of friendship and moral awakening” (Howard Zinn).

Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Beth Karpas
It is 1901. Teenaged Liam and his older sister Alice Ann have just lost their mother and moved in with their Uncle Patrick. The pair's mixed heritage-Irish from their mother, English from their missing father-makes the pure Irish of Connemara distrust them. Soon enough, Liam is feuding with the local boys. When Uncle Patrick is called to New York to raise money for the Irish cause, he brings Liam and Alice Ann along. Unfortunately for Liam, one of the boys with whom he is feuding, Colin, also comes. Vivid scenes of both rural Ireland and Hell's Kitchen are the strength of this novel. The characters are also well drawn and memorable. None are stereotypes. Mr. Hapwood is the scarred black man who owns the stables. His business partner, the widowed Mrs. McCathery, is a member of the Irish tribe and was Liam's mother's best friend. Liam's friend Jacob is a Jewish boy who fled the Cossacks and now wants to go to Columbia University. Colin is a tall bully from Ireland who is creative in his cruelty. Uncle Patrick might be abusive and distant, but there is a softer side of him that loves Ireland. Something is missing in the plot of this tale, however. It is clearly a coming-of-age story, but it feels more like a collection of short stories strung together than a cohesive novel. The title is unoriginal at best and will take some pushing to come off the shelves.
School Library Journal

Gr 6-9- In this companion to Streets of Gold (TreeHouse, 1998) set in 1901, Liam and his sister move from Kildare to Connemara to live with their uncle after their mother dies. There, the 14-year-old discovers that his peers hate him for his English father. Heading to New York City with Uncle Patrick to raise money for the Irish Republican cause, Liam is not sorry to leave behind a world where he will never fit in. He attempts to find out what happened to his father, who disappeared from Kildare, by stealing some letters his mother sent to her cousin, in whose house Liam's family is staying. Before Liam can read them, a nasty boy takes the letters and uses them to blackmail him into performing dangerous and dirty stunts. Often there are gaps where action that would seem more natural "on stage" is described after the fact. None of the grittier events of the story is pushed to the side, however. Liam witnesses a cockfight, attempts to bite the head off a dead rooster, and witnesses a horse being put down. Through all this, the boy grows and learns, but these changes take place in the gaps in the story, which makes the ending seem somewhat forced. While uneven, this title may be a worthwhile addition to collections in need of boy-friendly historical fiction.-Kristin Anderson, Columbus Metropolitan Library System, OH

Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780892554263
Publisher:
Persea Books
Publication date:
12/20/2013
Pages:
224
Sales rank:
803,073
Product dimensions:
5.30(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range:
12 - 18 Years

Meet the Author

Marie Raphael, author of Streets of Gold (Persea, 2001), has taught in middle school, high school, and college. She lives in Redway, California.

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