The New Policeman

The New Policeman

4.1 10
by Kate Thompson

View All Available Formats & Editions

Winner of both the Whitbread Children's Book Award and the 2005 Guardian Children's Fiction Prize

There is never enough time in Kinvara. When Helen Liddy is asked what she wants for her birthday, she says, 'Time. That's what I want. Time.'

Fifteen year-old JJ is continuing the Liddy family tradition with his fiddle-playing. But one day he

See more details below


Winner of both the Whitbread Children's Book Award and the 2005 Guardian Children's Fiction Prize

There is never enough time in Kinvara. When Helen Liddy is asked what she wants for her birthday, she says, 'Time. That's what I want. Time.'

Fifteen year-old JJ is continuing the Liddy family tradition with his fiddle-playing. But one day he discovers that music might no tbe the only thing that runs in his veins. Can it be true that his great-grandfather was a murderer?

When JJ sets out to buy his mother some time he discovers the answer, as well as some truly remarkable things about music, myth and magic.

Who knows where the time goes?

JJ does.

'A beautifully original book' INDEPENDENT

'A story full of surprises, magic and a delicately balanced internal logic' JULIA ECCLESHARE, GUARDIAN

'There is something hallucinatory, if not delirious about this stylish, magical book' JAN MARK

Read More

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Irish author Thompson's enchanting story may be a long book but it reads quickly-fitting since it's about irregularities in the passage of time. J.J. Liddy, 15, lives in a village on Ireland's fabled west coast where the prevailing complaint is about too-busy adults and overprogrammed kids ("Children could scarcely even find time for making mischief"). "Time" is what J.J.'s mother wants most for her birthday. The Liddys, renowned musicians for generations, regularly host a c il (dance) with musicians and step-dancers at their home. But though J.J. is a gifted musician himself, he wants to be two places at once when a friend suggests they go clubbing the same night as the monthly c il . En route to turn his friend down, J.J. is waylaid by a woman who knows why time is flying by but needs J.J. (for reasons having to do with his family history) to fix it. The problem has nothing to do with Ireland joining the E.U., as many locals believe, but rather with events in T r na n'Og, the fairy kingdom. As J.J. puts it, "Time is leaking out of our world into yours"-a deadly development, since heretofore the "little people" had enjoyed eternal life. Thompson's nifty plotting mines a rich vein of Irish faerie lore and magic for this meditation on the losses that modernization brings. The book is a kind of love song to traditional Irish music, every chapter ends with a melody. Readers may wish the book came with a CD. Ages 10-up. (Feb.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature - Claudia Mills
Winner of both the Whitbread Children's Book Award and the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize, Thompson's acclaimed novel, first published in Great Britain in 2005, is now shared with American readers. J.J. Liddy is an Irish teen who loves playing traditional Celtic music with his family, even though he is troubled by dark rumors that his great-grandfather once killed the village priest. But the world J.J. lives in is changing in disturbing ways: quite simply, in his rushed and breathless days, there is no longer enough time for anything. So far, J.J,'s world sounds all too much like our own, but Thompson ventures an actual explanation for the frantic pace of contemporary life: time is leaking from our world into the world of the fairies, who have hitherto lived in a timeless present now threatened by the mortality the passage of time brings with it. J.J. goes off through a portal between the two worlds to see if he can resolve the time leakage that menaces both. Along the way he grows as a musician (because music, as well as socks (!) also leak from one world to another) and uncovers the saving truth about his great-grandfather, and how all this is connected with the appearance of a new policeman in his village, who has an uncanny gift for fiddling. . . . Thompson's is clearly a compelling and original new voice in fantasy fiction. Now, if only we could solve the leakage of time from our own world, as well.
VOYA - Jennifer Feigleman
In the hectic hustle and bustle of today's world, time races on at breakneck speed, and for the Liddy family, time has not healed their wounds. Although they are a close-knit family with a deep-rooted love of music and dance, the Liddy name is associated with a shadowy past rumored to involve the murder of a priest. When J. J. Liddy's mother declares that for her birthday, the only thing that she wants is more time, fifteen-year-old J. J. sets out to find exactly that for her. While out on an errand for his mother, J. J. discovers a gateway to Tir na n'Og, the fairy world of eternal youth. There J. J. meets Aengus, who promises to help him find some time for his mother in exchange for a human song. Embarking on a quest with Aengus, J. J. finds the answer to where the time goes and unlocks some of his family's mysterious secrets. Winner of both the 2005 Guardian and Whitbread Awards, Thompson crafts a perfectly enchanting fantasy tale. Her fairy world is masterfully constructed, brilliantly juxtaposed to the real world, and seemingly believable. Her lilting and musical prose carries the story along, never once losing its rhythm. In this stylish and clever novel, Thompson also offers a powerful message to readers about the value of time and enjoyment of the world around them. Mesmerizing and captivating, this book is guaranteed to charm fantasy fans; recommend this book to all Harry Potter and Artemis Fowl aficionados.
KLIATT - Paula Rohrlick
The old tales of fairies are true after all, J.J. discovers. Time seems to be slipping away even faster than usual in his little Irish village, and when the 15-year-old passes through the wall of an ancient souterrain (an underground room) he finds out time has been leaking into the formerly unchanging realm of the land of eternal youth, inhabited by carefree fairies who resemble humans. A stolen flute and a dreadful crime that J.J.'s great-grandfather might have committed in trying to get it back play an important role in resolving the mystery of why the passage of time has been altered. Traditional Irish music—despised by the clergy because it led to "immoral behavior" and kept alive superstitions about fairies originating it—is a key. J.J. is a gifted musician, and transcribed dance tunes divide the chapters of this captivating tale of magic, set in the present day, that harks back to Irish fairy tales. (Thompson gives some sources in her bibliography.) This jaunty, enchanting fantasy won the Whitbread Award and the Guardian Award when it was first published in Great Britain, and it's sure to appeal to readers on this side of the Atlantic as well. A glossary at the end helps explains some of the Irish terms used.
School Library Journal

Gr 7-10
The clock is ticking much too quickly for 15-year-old J.J. Liddy, his mother, and the other residents of his Irish village. As time seems to slip away more quickly every day, J.J.'s mother jokingly requests more time as her birthday gift. Born into a family of traditional Irish musicians, the boy is torn between his natural love of music and playing with his family at dances, or agreeing to go with his friend to a club on the night he is supposed to play. The decision is made for him when he encounters a woman who tells him she knows how he can get the additional time for his mother. So begins his journey to Tír na n' Ó, the Land of Eternal Youth, a land of faeries who are also mysteriously losing time. Kate Thompson's award-winning book (Greenwillow, 2007) delivers a rich fantasy. Slowly unveiled family mysteries and questions about the identity of the new policeman in town will keep listeners enthralled. The parallel between the loss of time and the busy life we all lead will be apparent to most students. Irish actress Marcella Riordan lends an authentic accent to the reading. Although each chapter is followed by a somewhat long interlude of Irish music which may put off some listeners, the strong musical tie to the story is worthwhile.
—Jeana ActkinsonCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Kirkus Reviews
J.J. Liddy sometimes wishes he could go clubbing like the other boys instead of playing fiddle at his family's dances every weekend. Still, he loves the music. If only there were more time-for it seems everyone is running around these days, late for breakfast, late for school, late for dancing. Hoping to buy a bit of time for his mother's birthday, he finds himself in to T'r na n'ig, land of the ever young. There he meets the fairy folk, pleasure-loving musicians who explain that time's been leaking from his world into theirs. Not only is this responsible for the terrible rush that plagues J.J.'s life, but it is bringing aging and death to the usually unchanging world of the fairies. Extremely short chapters interspersed with musical scores of appropriate traditional tunes create a choppy start, but the novel, rich with Irish flavor, quickly warms up as time passes too quickly in both worlds. A wholly satisfying resolution returns all characters to their homes-with a bit of crossing-over fun. Charming. (Fantasy. 12-14)

Read More

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
New Policeman Trilogy , #1
Sold by:
File size:
3 MB
Age Range:
13 Years

Read an Excerpt

The New Policeman

By Kate Thompson

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2007 Kate Thompson
All right reserved.

Chapter One

J.J. Liddy and his best friend, Jimmy Dowling, often had arguments. J.J. never took them seriously. He even considered them a sign of the strength of the friendship, because they always made up again straightaway, unlike some of the girls in school, who got into major possessive battles with one another. But on that day in early September, during the first week that they were back in school, they had an argument like none before.

J.J. couldn't even remember now what it had been about. But at the end of it, at the point where they usually came round to forgiving each other and patching it up, Jimmy had dropped a bombshell.

"I should have had more sense than to hang around with you anyway, after what my granny told me about the Liddys."

His words were followed by a dreadful silence, full of J.J.'s bewilderment and Jimmy's embarrassment. He knew he had gone too far.

"What about the Liddys?" said J.J.

"Nothing." Jimmy turned to go back into school.

J.J. stood in front of him. "Go on. What did she tell you?"

Jimmy might have been able to wriggle his way out of it and pretend it was a bluff, but he had been overheard. He and J.J. were no longer alone. Two other lads, Aidan Currie and Mike Ford, had overheard and had come to join in.

"Go on, Jimmy," said Aidan. "You may as well tell him."

"Yeah," said Mike. "If he doesn't knowhe must be the only person in the county who doesn't."

The bell rang for the end of the morning break. They all ignored it.

"Know what?" said J.J. He felt cold, terrified, not of something that might happen but of something that he might find inside himself; in his blood.

"It was a long time ago," said Jimmy, still trying to retract.

"What was?"

"One of the Liddys . . ." Jimmy said something else but he mumbled it beneath his breath and J.J. couldn't hear. It sounded like "burgled the beast."

The teacher on yard duty was calling them in. Jimmy began to walk toward the school. The others fell in.

"He did what?" said J.J.

"Forget it," said Jimmy.

It was Aidan Currie who said it, loud enough for J.J. or anyone else to hear. "Sure, everyone knows about it. Your great-granddad. J.J. Liddy, same as yourself. He murdered the priest."

J.J. stopped in his tracks. "No way!"

"He did, so," said Mike. "And all for the sake of an old wooden flute."

"You're a shower of liars!" said J.J.

The boys, except for Jimmy, laughed.

"Always mad for the music, the same Liddys," said Mike.

He began to hop and skip toward the school in a goofy parody of Irish dancing. Aidan trotted beside him, singing an out-of-tune version of "The Irish Washerwoman." Jimmy glanced back at J.J. and, his head down, followed them as they went back in.

J.J. stood alone in the yard. It couldn't be true. But he knew, now that he thought about it, that there had always been something behind the way some of the local people regarded him and his family. A lot of people in the community came to the céilís and the set-dancing classes that were held at his house on Saturdays. They had always come, and their parents and grandparents had come before them. In recent years the numbers had increased dramatically with the influx of new people into the area. Some of them came from thirty miles away and more. But there was, and always had been, a large number of local people who would have nothing to do with the Liddys or their music. They didn't exactly cross the street to avoid J.J. and his family, but they didn't talk to them either. J.J., if he'd thought about it at all, had assumed it was because his parents were one of the only couples in the district who weren't married, but what if that wasn't the reason? What if it had really happened? Could J.J. be descended from a murderer?


The teacher was standing at the door, waiting for him.

J.J. hesitated. For a moment it seemed to him that there was no way he could set foot inside that school again. Then the solution came to him.

The teacher closed the door behind him. "What do you think you were doing, standing out there like a lemon?"

"Sorry," said J.J. "I didn't realize you were talking to me."

"Who else would I be talking to?"

"My name's Byrne," said J.J. "My mother's name is Liddy all right, but my father's name is Byrne. I'm J.J. Byrne."


Excerpted from The New Policeman by Kate Thompson Copyright © 2007 by Kate Thompson. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Read More

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >