Secondary School English teachers: Is it time to change your class novel?

Have you considered changing your class novel?
Do you need something that talks to today's students and is excellently written?
It doesn't have to be difficult choice with a fantastic selection of titles for students from The O'Brien Press.

As Ireland's leading independent book publisher, we're offering teachers a great choice of contemporary, fantasy and historical fiction titles that are ideal for today's students. With good writing, a broad spectrum of contemporary themes and issues and fresh exciting stories, our books are ideal for class reading and discussion. Find a book that will be perfect for your students, whether they are mixed or single sex, urban or rural, Irish or multi-cultural.

  • QUALITY: Excellent novels, including many award-winning titles such as Epic by Conor Kostick, Siobhan Parkinson's Four Kids, Three Cats, Two Cows, One Witch (Maybe), Aubrey Flegg's critically-acclaimed "Louise" trilogy and others
  • PROVEN: O'Brien Press books have a long history of success in Irish schools and we continue to encourage new and exciting writing for young people
  • IN-DEPTH: O'Brien Press novels come with relevant and in-depth teaching support and resources, all available FREE to teachers
  • RELEVANT: With a wide range of exciting, interesting and relevant titles, well-known and new Irish authors and contemporary themes and issues, O'Brien Press novels are ideal for your class.

The Big Six: perfect novels for first and second year english

Showing 1-5 of 5 items.

17 Martin Street

When Hetty’s family move to Martin Street near Portobello bridge in Dublin, they’re not sure of their welcome.

And next door, Ben’s family are not sure about their new Jewish neighbours: it’s The Emergency and they are suspicious of strangers.

Teaching guide to the novel by Peter Heaney

Faraway Home

Two Jewish children are sent from Nazi-occupied Austria to a refugee farm in Northern Ireland. Will they ever see their families again? Based on the true story of Millisle refugee farm in Ards, Co Down.

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.
Teaching guide from O'Brien Teaching Guides Collection 1

Mollie On The March

Written by Anna Carey, Cover illustration by Lauren O'Neill

Mollie Carberry is a suffragette! Well, sort of. Mollie and her best friend Nora have been bravely fighting for women’s rights – even though no one else really knows about it. But when they hear a big protest is being planned, they know they have to take part.

Teaching guide to the book by Nicola Heaney



On New Earth, Epic is not just a computer game, it's a matter of life and death. If you lose, you lose everything; if you win, the world is yours for the taking.

Teaching resources by Ms Tara-Lynn Walker, Franklin Middle School, NJ: classroom questions, character design, post-reading activities
Teaching guide to the book, written by the author, Conor Kostick

The Cinnamon Tree

A Novel Set in Africa

Yola's leg is blown off by a landmine and her life in Africa is changed forever. She travels to Ireland for an artificial limb, and her adventures continue.

Teaching guide for The Cinnamon Tree from O'Brien Teaching Guides for Second Level Schools.

Of course, there are lots of other novels that your students might also enjoy.

Select activity sheets and teaching ideas for a different age group