When Liam, a poor eleven-year-old boy, and Nora, a rich ten-year-old girl meet at a Feis Ceol, an unlikely bond is formed - a bond that leads to a friendship spanning the deeply divided city that was Dublin in 1913.
What Happens When Your Best Friend ought to be Your Enemy?
Liam and Nora form an unlikely friendship when he lends her a helping hand during a music competition. Liam's father, a mechanic, is a proud trade union member, while Nora's father is a prosperous wine importer. When Jim Larkin takes on the might of the employers in 1913, resulting in strikes, riots and lockouts, Liam and Nora's friendship is challenged and their loyalties torn.
Caught up in events that they don't fully understand, the two come face to face with hardship and danger, but also find humour and generosity as they set out on an adventure that may make or break their friendship, but will definitely change their lives forever.
The historical events of the Dublin 1913 Lockout vividly portrayed through the lives of two young friends.
vividly brings history to life for its readers … a hugely involving tale
'provides a good historical account of a still topical subject in a style that will have young readers eagerly turning the pages to see what happens next ... Highly recommended'
'the atmosphere of a troubled Dublin city awash with tension and poverty is excellently captured'
'an interesting blend of fiction and history in a tale set against the backdrop of Jim Larkin’s labour movement and the 1913 Lockout'
'written in a nice simple style and is suitable for fourth, fifth or sixth classes ... could also be used as a teaching aid in history, art or geography'
'interesting and very realistic'
'Gallagher manages to deal with the historical issues of the day like social injustice, industrial unrest and women’s suffrage in a story that is exciting, gripping and occasionally humourous'
'an imaginative take on one of the most famous events in Dublin history ... Gallagher weaves an engaging plot'
'I liked the book because it was a really good story. Why can't two people be friends no matter what the backround? I think their friendship was really good'
'In a fairy story, Liam and Nora might have stayed together and lived happily ever after, but rightly enough, Brian Gallagher brings their eight-month friendship to a more realistic and consequently a more satisfying conclusion.'
'Across the Divide is an intelligent look at a particularly turbulent piece of Irish history from a young person’s viewpoint.'
'a very good read ... The book deals with a number of historical issues and raises questions of values.'
'a compelling historical novel set against the backdrop of the Dublin Lockout of 1913 ... The author breathes life into characters who in lesser hands could become stereotypes ... well researched ... a skilful, satisfying read ...should appeal to boys and girls in the 10-12 age group and older'
'brought the turbulence of the 1913 lockout alive for young readers'
Download Teaching Guides: Teaching guide and class project ideas by Peter Heaney
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