Secrets and Shadows

Secrets and Shadows

Two friends in a world at war

When her home is destroyed in the 1941 Luftwaffe bombing, Grace Ryan moves in with relatives. There she meets Barry Malone, a boy from Liverpool. Barry begins to suspect their teacher Mr Pawlek of spying for the Nazis. But what starts as an exciting adventure puts their very lives in danger.



Sakura Medal - 2014

- Short-listed

Paperback: €8.99
Paperback: 224 pages
Size:196x130 mm
ISBN: 9781847173508

E-Book (ePub): €5.99
Also available as an E-Book (ePub)
ISBN: 9781847175373

When her home is destroyed in the Luftwaffe bombing of the North Strand, Dublin in 1941, Grace Ryan is forced to move in with relatives in a different part of the city. There she meets Barry Malone, an English boy sent to neutral Ireland to escape the terrible air raids on his native city of Liverpool.

Wary of each other at first, Grace and Barry become friends when she acts to stop him being bullied in his new school. Barry later saves Grace from losing her part-time job in a shop and, with school about to end, a summer of fun stretches before them in the sports club run by his teacher, Mr Pawlek.

However, Barry begins to suspect Mr Pawlek of spying for the Nazis and he enrols Grace in his attempts to find proof. But what starts as an exciting challenge becomes increasingly risky, and their friendship is put to the test when their very lives hang in the balance.

Brian Gallagher

BRIAN GALLAGHER was born in Dublin. He is a full-time writer whose plays and short stories have been produced in Ireland, Britain and Canada. He has worked extensively in radio and television, writing many dramas and documentaries.

Brian is the author of four adult novels, and his other books of historical fiction for young readers are One Good Turn and Friend or Foe – both set in Dublin in 1916; Stormclouds, which takes place in Northern Ireland during the turbulent summer of 1969; Secrets and Shadows, a spy novel that begins with the North Strand bombings during the Second World War; Taking Sides, about the Irish Civil War; Across the Divide, set during the 1913 Lockout, Arrivals, a time-slip novel set between modern and early-twentieth-century Ontario, and Pawns, set during Ireland’s War of Independence. Brian lives with his family in Dublin.

Find out more about Brian's books at

'will give readers insight into life during the Second World War and will appeal to readers of 10+ who enjoy mystery or historical fiction'

School Librarian Magazine

'deftly weaving historic fact and period detail into a fictional but nevertheless entirely credible story ... nail-biting'

Books Ireland

'would hopefully encourage further study about the effects of war on ordinary people'

Books Ireland

'heart-stopping action likely to hold readers aged nine to teens in its thrall'

Evening Echo

'a turbulent historical backdrop based on carefully researched detail'

Evening Echo

'thrilling novel is a window on the past'

Evening Echo

'story of friendship and suspicion, excitement and intrigue'

The Scotsman

'Secrets and Shadows is an exciting children's wartime adventure with lots of factual details and historical snippets to give it a good feel of time and place but without over-shadowing the plot… this should be a book to appeal to both boys and girls and

'a refreshing change to read a book set in Ireland during the war'

'had me gripped from the start'

'confident and reluctant readers will be richly rewarded by the truly gripping climax'

CBI's Recommended Reads 2012

'between a historical novel and a spy caper'

CBI's Recommended Reads 2012

Teaching Resources: free to view and download

  • Download Teaching Guides: Teaching guide to the book by Peter Heaney

Rights Held: World, all languages

Also by Brian Gallagher:

Across the Divide
Taking Sides
Friend or Foe

Go to author page...

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