Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Emerald Isle: Teen Fiction

"To be Irish is to know that in the end the world will break your heart." 
~ Daniel Patrick Moynihan (1927-2003), American politician and sociologist 

The Wish List by Eoin Colfer 

Fiction. After her first attempted robbery goes horribly wrong, newly dead 14-year-old Meg Finn poses a problem for the administrators of the afterlife: she's lived a life that's been split straight down the middle between good and evil, so no one knows whether to send her to heaven or hell. Instead, they send Meg back to Earth to give her a chance to either save or condemn herself. Fans of Irish author Eoin Colfer's wicked sense of humor in the Artemis Fowl books should enjoy this quick, entertaining story, which, while mostly hilarious and irreverent, packs a surprising emotional punch in the end.

The Bog Child by Siobhan Dowd

Fiction. Set in Ireland during "the troubles" of the 1980s, this moody and suspenseful novel opens with 18-year-old Fergus finding a small corpse buried in a peat bog (where he was digging up peat for his uncle to sell as fuel). Soon the bog is swarming with archaeologists, and Fergus ponders the mystery of his find while trying to study for the exams to get into medical school -- and avoid becoming embroiled in the IRA. Beautifully written, powerful, and occasionally painful to read, this coming-of-age novel gives readers a strong sense of life in Ireland during the time depicted.

The New Policeman by Kate Thompson

Fantasy. Fifteen-year-old J.J. Liddy lives in Kinvara, a small Irish village where there never seems to be enough time -- in fact, his mother jokingly asks for more "time" as her birthday present. And J.J. is astonished to discover that it might actually be possible! A tip from an eccentric neighbor leads J.J. to Tir na n'Og, the fabled land of the fairies, where the fairies reveal that time has been leaking into their world, leading to a lack of time in J.J.'s world and too much time in theirs. It's up to J.J. to help fix this dangerous problem...before it's too late. Rich in details of Irish music, mythology, and lore, this book is sure to enchant fans of chaotic, intricate stories.

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