Marilyn Taylor was born and educated in England, and has an economics degree from London University. She was a school librarian in a Dublin secondary school for 16 years and a college librarian.
Her first novels for young adults were the Jackie and Kev trilogy, Could This Be Love, I Wondered? (1994), Could I Love a Stranger? and Call Yourself a Friend?.
Faraway Home was a new departure for Marilyn, having a strong historical basis and being set in Northern Ireland during the Second World War. It won the prestigious Bisto Book of the Year Award and was followed by 17 Martin Street, set in Dublin during The Emergency (as the Second World War was knows in Ireland). Both have been hugely popular with schools throughout Ireland and beyond.
Author Marilyn Taylor recently spoke at the Holocaust Memorial Evening in Northern Ireland. Marilyn has researched the Holocaust extensively as part of her work as a writer. One of her most popular books, Faraway Home, is about two Jewish children sent from Nazi-occupied Austria to a refugee farm in Northern Ireland. This is based on the true story of the refugee farm in Millisle, County Down. Here is an excerpt from Marilyn’s moving speech on the night.
A review of Marilyn Taylor's novel. Contains plot description and picks up on the major themes in the book.
When Karl and Rosa were taken by the soldiers, as seen by their dog, Goldi. By Megan Ní Mhathúna, Rang a Sé, Scoil an tSeachtar Laoch, Baile Munn
Marilyn describes the life experiences that brought her to write about the Holocause.
Since the introduction of the Revised Curriculum in 1999, many teachers have begun using a novel with their pupils as well as the more traditional 'reader' or textbook. Some teachers have decided not to use 'readers' at all, choosing instead to use novels with their class. Here two pupils from Stratford National School, who used Marilyn Taylor's novel Faraway Home last term, share their thoughts on the advantages of using class novels.
Marilyn Taylor talks about the Jackie & Kev Trilogy: Could This Be Love? I Wondered; Could I Love A Stranger?; and Call Yourself A Friend?
A look at the process of writing the third story in the Jackie & Kev trilogy:
The pupils of St Matthew's National School in Sandymount, Dublin, describe their impressions of Faraway Home by Marilyn Taylor.
Pupils from Stratford National School in Rathgar, Dublin, describe the characters from Faraway Home who made the biggest impression on them.
Since the publication of Faraway Home and especially since it was chosen as the 1999/2000 Children's Books Ireland/Bisto Book of the Year, Marilyn Taylor has spoken in numerous schools and libraries all over Ireland, North and South. The visit to Millisle Primary School, which was the inspiration for the book, had special meaning. Here the author talks about the experience.
On 11 October 2000, Mrs Marilyn Taylor and Bobby Hackworth visited Primary 7 class in Millisle Primary School, Newtownards. They talked to us about Millisle's history and about Marilyn's book, Faraway Home.
Commentary on the football match between the Refugee Camp and Millisle Village, by Colman Hanley, pupil at Stratford National School, Dublin.
Quiz: 101 questions and answers on Faraway Home by Tom Hanley, Principal, Stratford National School, Dublin.
17 Martin Street
Download Teaching Guides: Teaching guide to the novel by Peter Heaney
Download RBFS: Teaching ideas for sixth class from O'Brien Reading Programme
Download Teaching Guides: Finding Refuge: The Millisle Farm Story, A World War II learning resource developed by Down County Museum. This multimedia resource reveals how this part of Northern Ireland played a unique role in saving the lives of some Jewish refugees.
Download Teaching Guides: Teaching guide from O'Brien Teaching Guides Collection 1
Could I Love a Stranger?
Download Teaching Guides: Teaching guide for Could I Love a Stranger from O'Brien Teaching Guides for Second Level Schools.