Brian Gallagher Pawns


Code 9781847178930
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Author: Brian Gallagher

Date Published: 21-Aug-2017

In a time of war, how much would you risk to help a friend? Young Johnny Dunne works hard at Balbriggan’s Mill Hotel, but still finds time to enjoy life with his friends, Alice and Stella. Though the three come from different backgrounds – Johnny had a harsh childhood in an orphanage, Alice is the daughter of the hotel owner and Stella the daughter of the Commanding Officer at the nearby RAF Gormanston. – they’re inseparable, living at the hotel and playing together in the town band. But with the War of Independence raging, the friends face difficult decisions. Stella is pro-British, Johnny is pro-independence, and Alice is somewhere in between. Then Johnny’s secret role, spying for the IRA on the Crown forces, puts him in danger. And Stella and Alice have hard choices to make – choices that threaten their lives...

About the Author
BRIAN GALLAGHER was born in Dublin. He is a full-time writer whose plays and short stories have been produced in Ireland, Britain and Canada. He has worked extensively in radio and television, writing many dramas and documentaries. Brian is the author of four adult novels, and his other books of historical fiction for young readers are One Good Turn and Friend or Foe - both set in Dublin in 1916; Stormclouds, which takes place in Northern Ireland during the turbulent summer of 1969; Secrets and Shadows, a spy novel that begins with the North Strand bombings during the Second World War; Taking Sides, about the Irish Civil War; Across the Divide, set during the 1913 Lockout, Arrivals, a time-slip novel set between modern and early-twentieth-century Ontario, and Pawns, set during Ireland's War of Independence. Brian lives with his family in Dublin. His latest book, Spies, is a sequel to Pawns. Find out more about Brian's books at
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an Irish historical novel for pre-teens that is both riveting and insightful. Perfect for individual or classroom reading

* Sunday Independent *

an enjoyable read, while not downplaying the real dangers. Excellent for individual or classroom reading

* Children's Books Ireland Recommended Reading Guide 2017 *

a book with a fascinating political background, and Gallagher can be applauded for managing to convey what it must be like to live in a country with such an unstable future, as his characters seem to exist in a constant state of suspense ... I definitely grew attached to the characters ... this is a stellar choice for preteens with an interest in history, with the advantage of being set in the beautiful city of Dublin, during a fascinating conflict with consequences that were felt for generations

* The Bookbag *

Gallagher has written an historical novel for young people that is both riveting and insightful. The divisions in the social structure of early 1900's Ireland is perfectly echoed in the three young protagonists, while all three roles are portrayed with compassion and understanding, with their personalities perfectly fleshed out. The complex layers of the War of Independence, both socially and in terms of military action are revealed with a great deal of nuance and fore-thought, as each new episode brings further conflict and increasing violence. There is much here that, while historical, gives pause for thought in today's world events. Painted with great empathy, we are given a view of differing allegiances in conflict with questions of conscience; and an evocative look at the challenge of the fight for freedom. Personal, insightful and still fast-paced and very exciting. (Gallagher is one of the very best writers of historical fiction for young people. I'd also highly recommend his previous book, Arrivals.)

* Fallen Star Stories *

Gallagher engages his pre-teen readership in the historical events by personalising them through the unfolding fate of young fictional characters ... a very successful means of sparking young people's interest in the country's past

* Evening Echo *

the divisions in society are perfectly mirrored in the three main characters

* Irish Examiner *

a timely look at Irish history by an experienced historical novelist for children

-- Irish Independent

this is an evocative account of the dilemmas faced by those who lived through the Irish War of Independence, showcasing how differing allegiances posed problems and challenges ... Compellingly written, with great empathy and insight, this is an excellent read

* Parents in Touch *

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