In this tale of a struggle for survival during the Great Famine of the 1840s, three children endure incredible harships on their journey across Ireland to escape the horrors of the workhouse. By the winner of the International Reading Association's Children's Book Award.
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beloved the world over(The Herald)
vividly brings history to life for its readers … a hugely involving tale(Mad About Books)
her books never shy away from difficult issues, gripping you from the very opening chapter(The Looking Glass)
The Children of the Famine trilogy … continues to not only educate Irish children about their history, but enable people to truly connect with what happened(The Looking Glass)
A great survival saga(The Irish Independent)
makes a whole part of our history come alive, while it still remains a thrilling adventure tale.(RTE Guide)
A sublime story ... I don't know any child who will not find this book enthralling.(The Irish Times)
... beautiful and moving ... historically true and fictionally vivid.(The Sunday Times)
The Great Irish Famine of the 1840s has received more fictional treatment than almost any other period in Irish historical children's books. Writing about the Famine posed new challenges to writers for children. The traditional passivity linked to ideas about famine would need to be overcome by some kind of action. The intense and horrible suffering and disease would need to be confronted truthfully but without lurid sensationalism. Some sense of an ending would need to be provided. In Under the Hawthorn Tree, Marita Conlon-McKenna confronted these problems with honesty and simplicity: the plight of three children becomes a kind of pilgrimage. The search for survival is not merely that, but also a search to sustain family loyalty and preserve memory.(The Big Guide to Irish Children's Books)
Brings the story of the Irish Famine thrillingly alive.(The Irish Post)
makes a whole part of our history come alive, while it still remains a thrilling adventure tale.(RTE Guide RTE Guide)
the powerful story of the survival of three children, alone, and against the odds.(Publishing News)
Marita Conlon-Mckenna handles this appalling event in Irish history sensitively but never compromising the truth of hardship and human suffering.(Jane Murphy - writeaway.org.uk)
(A) vivid picture of the Famine era ... fascinating and terrifying(Evening Echo) About the Author:
Born in Dublin in 1956 and brought up in Goatstown, Marita went to school at the Convent of the Sacred Heart, Mount Anville, later working in the family business, the bank, and a travel agency. In 1977 she married James McKenna and they have four children, Amanda, Laura, Fiona and James. They live in the Stillorgan area of Dublin.
Marita was always fascinated by the Famine period in Irish history and read everything available on the subject. When she heard a radio report of an unmarked children's grave from the Famine period being found under a hawthorn tree, she decided to write her first book, Under the Hawthorn Tree.
Published in May 1990, the book was an immediate success and has been reprinted many times. It remained in the Irish Bestseller List for over two years. As well as being hugely popular in Ireland, Under The Hawthorn Tree also sold to Puffin in Britain and Holiday House in America; it has been translated into French, Dutch, German, Danish, Swedish, Italian, Japanese and Irish. The book has been read on RTÉ Radio and is very popular in schools, both with teachers and pupils, and Marita is the most requested author for school readings. It has been made a supplementary curriculum reader in many schools and is also used by schools in Northern Ireland for EMU (Education through Mutual Understanding) projects.
Under the Hawthorn Tree has been filmed for RTÉ and Channel 4, screened as a four-part series by Channel 4 in March 1999.
Marita went on to write several more books for children which were also very well received. The Blue Horse reached No. 1 on the Bestseller List and in 1993 won the BISTO BOOK OF THE YEAR Award. No Goodbye tells of the heartbreak of a young family when their mother leaves home. It was recommended by Book Trust in their guide for One Parent Families. Safe Harbour is the story of two English children evacuated from London during World War ll to live with their grandfather in Greystones, Co Wicklow. It was shortlisted for the BISTO Book of the Year Award, 1995. Marita's first foray into the world of fantasy, In Deep Dark Wood, was a huge success. A strange new neighbour spirits Mia to a land of legend, and her brother Rory faces dragons and danger to rescue her in this story of wonder and magic.
Marita has won several awards, including the International Reading Association Award, the Osterreichischer Kinder und Jugendbuchpreis, the Reading Association of Ireland Award and the Bisto Book of the Year Award.
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Book Description Puffin, 1992. Mass Market Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX014036031X
Book Description Puffin Books, 1992. Mass Market Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P11014036031X