Adam's Starling

Adam's Starling

Written by Gillian Perdue, Illustrated by Barry Reynolds

Winner of the Eilís Dillon Memorial Award. Adam's Starling tells the story of nine-year-old Adam who is finding life very diffficult. At home no-one has any time for him and at school bullies pick on him.


Bisto Book of the Year - Eilís Dillon Award 2002 - 2002

- Winner

Paperback: €7.99
Paperback: 160 pages
Size:196x130 mm
ISBN: 9780862786854

E-Book (ePub): €5.50
Also available as an E-Book (ePub)
ISBN: 9781847174260

Adam's Starling tells the story of a nine year old boy who is finding life difficult. At home, no-one has any time for him.

At school things are even worse – a gang of bullies has singled Adam out for punishment. Life is becoming increasingly difficult for Adam. But then a scruffy little starling comes into Adam's life. This is Adam's secret, his own special friend. But can Adam's defend his small friend against the bullies? Will he find the courage he has needed all along?

Gillian Perdue

Gillian Perdue is a children's writer and dancing teacher. She previously worked as a primary school teacher for over fifteen years, and has always had a deep love for children's books. Gillian acted as chairperson of the Bisto Book Awards 1999-2000, and she has written resource materials for the use of real books in the classroom.

Gillian's first book, Adam's Starling was written for older readers and won the Eilís Dillon Memorial Award 2002. The Irish Times described Adam's Starling as an impressive debut. Since then she has written three books in the successful O'Brien Panda Series - Conor's Cowboy Suit, Panda No. 23, Conor's Concert, Panda No. 25, and Conor's Canvas, Panda No. 35. The spirited and determined Conor, who loves to do things his way and his way only has proved to be extremely popular with younger readers. Gillian is married with two children, and lives in Dublin.

Dubliner Barry Reynolds is a character designer/concept/visual development artist and illustrator who has worked on the Oscar-nominated, animated movie The Secret of Kells, on Aardman and Sony Pictures Animation’s Arthur Christmas, and on Irish language graphic novels, An Táin and Deirdre agus Mic Uisnigh, where his artwork helped these Irish legends to a new readership. As a child, Barry saw The Jungle Book and announced then that he intended to be an artist, and he has realised that dream, apart from a few brief flirtations with wanting to be an astronaut, a dinosaur hunter and a zoologist … the last of which came in handy when working on The Great Big Book of Irish Wildlife.

beautifully told

Woman’s Way

all the elements in this story blend perfectly in a carefully measured way that make it a compulsive read

Irish Examiner

deserves another look

Evening Echo

still as relevant today

Books Ireland

a perceptive and very moving story which will resonate with many readers - bullies and the bullied. An excellent opportunity for discussion of this emotive subject

This story has tremendous potential for classroom use. An extremely thought-provoking book that would be an easy read for most 9- to 11-year olds.

Children's Books in Ireland Janet McGonagle - Children's Books in Ireland

What an impressive debut! ... This book convincingly captures life's hassles. Perdue is exceptionally good on Adam's various relationships ... (her) handling of the Adam/Grandad scenes are not only brilliant, they are also genuinely moving, and the starling plot is never allowed to become tweety-sweety. My nine-year-old thought it fantastic.

Niall MacMonagle - The Irish Times

This book is touching and sometimes sad. It would be great for children aged 8 upward.

Teenage reviewer Catherine O'Mahony, iQ magazine

This is a good story told with much lively dialogue and it will sustain children's interest through thirteen quite meaty chapters.

The School Librarian

Sensitive study of a shy and insecure boy who, in the protection of something smaller and weaker than himself, manages to finally confront the boys that constantly pick on him at school.

Books Ireland

Adam's Starling belongs on the shelf of any home with school-going children ... The bonding-with-animals theme makes this an appealing book, crashing through age and gender definitions in a warm-hearted way.

Evening Herald

gentle novel which confronts a serious problem in a sensitive and honest way.

Bisto Award judges

This is an intelligent, instructive book heavy with intent.

Eileen Battersby - The Irish Times

Its sensitive, imaginative treatment of the now clichéd theme of bullying makes it a great stocking-filler

The Sunday Independent

Teaching Resources: free to view and download

  • Download Activity sheets: Activity sheet 1: looking after birds

  • Download Activity sheets: Activity sheet 2: identifying birds

  • Download Activity sheets: Activity sheet 3: feelings and emotions

  • Download RBFS: Teaching ideas for third class from the O'Brien Reading Programme Supplement

Rights Held: World, all languages
Rights Sold: Estonian

Also by Gillian Perdue:

Conor's Cowboy Suit
Conor's Concert
Conor's Canvas
An Buachaill Bó

Go to author page...

Also by Barry Reynolds:

The Great Big Book of Irish Wildlife

Go to author page...

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