THE KIDDS OF SUMMERHILL

By
Ann Murtagh
The Kidds of Summerhill

When Ma dies, Nancy is determined to keep her family together in their Dublin tenement and not in the industrial schools where the Cruelty Men believe they should be. Will she succeed?

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Paperback:
288 pages
Size:
196x130 mm
ISBN:
9781788492317

Also available as an Electronic Book (ePub)

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ISBN:
9781788492591

In the spring of 1945 a mother dies, leaving four children to fend for themselves in a Dublin tenement.

Nancy, the oldest, lives in dread of the family being split up. The power to send them all to industrial schools such as Artane and Goldenbridge lies with the ‘Cruelty Men’. Their spy, the Pig Farmer, lives next door and holds a long term grudge against the family.

Thankfully Nancy has loyal friends in Summerhill and the Diamond, among them Lilly, her brother Charlie Weaver, a Dublin newsboy, and their ma, Maggie. Through work, Nancy becomes friendly with Karla, a Jewish refugee from Prague.

When Nancy accidentally betrays Charlie to the police, Charlie ends up in Artane industrial school. Desperate to keep her guilty secret and still help her friend, Nancy and Lilly come up with a plan to help Charlie escape on the boat to England. 

Just as her life begins to unravel, Karla steps in with a possible solution to Nancy's problems. Will Nancy succeed in keeping the family together? And at what cost?

Ann Murtagh spent her first seven years in the Bronx, New York. After a short time in Dublin, her family moved to Kells, Co. Meath. She qualified as a primary teacher and later received an MA in Local History from NUI Maynooth. A member of both Meath Archaeological and Historical Society and Kilkenny Archaeological Society, she has given lectures to both groups. Ann has designed and facilitated history courses for teachers both locally and nationally. She has three sons, Daniel, Bill and Matt, and lives with her husband, Richard, and two dogs in Kilkenny City.

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Teaching Resources: free to view and download

  • pdf-logoDownload Teaching Guides: Teaching guide to the book by Peter Heaney

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