Brian Gallagher Taking Sides: A Boy. A Girl. A Nation Torn Apart.


Code 9781847172792
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In the Dublin of 1922 with Civil War about to break out, working class Annie Reilly is thrilled to win a scholarship to Eccles Street Convent School. A little frozen out by her old friends, yet not wholly accepted by all of her new classmates, she is pleased to be befriended by Susie O'Neill an easy-going girl from a much more comfortable background. Through Susie's brother, Annie meets Peter Scanlon, a neighbour of the O'Neill's and a pupil at Belvedere college. Having been radicalised by the execution of Kevin Barry, another Belvedere pupil, Peter becomes involved with the rebels who oppose the Treaty with Britain, and who are in conflict with the forces of the newly formed Irish Free State.

Torn between his convictions and the debt that he owes to Annie, Peter has a stark choice to make. And when he risks everything for his friend, Annie too has to struggle with loyalty and the notion of informing on a friend, when other peoples' lives are in the balance.

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. Find out more about Brian's books at

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'grey areas of life are well explored and Gallagher introduces ethical, moral, social and gender issues without polarisation - the notion of life often being a 'contest of two or more rights' is well presented ... Gallagher's historical research is sound
- * Inis Magazine *

'a vivid portrayal of a torn city and divided loyalties' 'perfect historical fiction read for ages 10 years+'
- * Primary Times *

'gripping ... a great Christmas stocking filler ... a perfect accompaniment to historical studies'
- * Woman's Way *

'gripping right from its first page'
- * Evening Echo *

'A 'hold your breath' story ... that's one of the great things about both Brian's books - they are set in the past, but they are set in a real and still recognisable Dublin ... Like most people my age (and no, I'm not telling!) I grew up reading books set'
- * Dublin Public Libraries website *

'Gallagher writes well evoking the period and the characters in an accessible and believable way. This is a great way to introduce children to history and bravely tackles a subject that many historians shy away from.'
- * Books Ireland *


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