Monday, March 16, 2009

Bog Child by Siobhan Dowd

I recommend this book for: high school

Fergus lives in the troubled Ireland of the 1980s. His brother is in prison because of his involvement with the freedom fighters, hunger strikers are dying regularly, and violence can explode suddenly and without warning. His biggest dream is to do well on his exams, get into medical school, and get out of Ireland. Then he makes an amazing discovery while digging peat with his uncle - the body of a child. Suddenly he has a new dream - all about this Iron Age girl and how she came to be in the bog.

This was a powerful book - the exploration of Ireland both of ancient and modern times and the different sacrifices people make. Difficult decisions abound. Fergus' friendship with a Welsh soldier who guards the border was a fantastic element. I loved the intense part in the middle where Fergus gets wrapped up in transporting illegal packets across the border - especially the resolution of it. One problem with this book though, is that it doesn't give much background on Ireland at this time, or explanation of the various acronyms (RUC, IRA) that are tossed around, so a reader who doesn't know anything about Ireland's history would be really lost.

Content makes this a high school book - it includes strong language, talk about sex and some sexual situations (although not the actual act).  

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