One Book, One Community

Marilyn Taylor reading at the launch of One Book, One InchicoreOne Book, One Community hardly comes close to summing up the scale and success of this project that has been sweeping across Ireland over the last couple of years. It's turned out to be a constellation of celebrations of great books, of reading and of community spirit as libraries, schools, publishers and authors all work together to inspire kids to love books. It's grass-roots activism and something to be very proud of.

We're thrilled to have had O'Brien Press books used in an ever-growing number of One Book, One Community projects around Ireland, including the selection of Marilyn Taylor's 17 Martin Street for Dublin's first project -- One Book, One Inchicore in 2010. Our support for these projects has included

  • supply of teaching materials and guides for the books
  • supply of posters, bookmarks, cover blow-ups and other display material
  • assistance in getting the authors involved directly in the projects
  • collaboration in the production of audio versions of the books (for Faraway Home)

In many cases the authors have become actively involved in the projects. And there are more coming! For now, we'd like to thank all the communities who have chosen The O'Brien Press for such a worthwhile venture and we wish all the upcoming projects great success.

If you are considering running a One Book, One Community project, you could consider the titles listed below: they have all been used before and you can draw on the success and experience of the communities who used them. Of course, there are lots of other great O'Brien Press titles and authors that could be perfect for your community. If you would like to talk about title selection, project ideas or direct purchase of books for your project, please contact Aoife Harrison (

Select any book or cover for more information on the title: extracts and teaching guides are available for free viewing.

  • yellow-flag

    Yellow Flag: For readers aged 6+ (includes Flyers)

  • Alfie Green and the Chocolate Cosmos

    Alfie Green and the Chocolate Cosmos

    Written by Joe O'Brien, Illustrated by Jean Texier

    Budsville’s chocolate fair cancelled? No way, Alfie decides. Chocolate seeds from Arcania are the answer, but only if he can survive the Roaring Rainforest, the vicious Spider Plant and the Forest Ogre.

    Existing projects: Ballyfermot

  • red-flag

    Red Flag: For readers aged 8+

  • 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.

    Existing projects: Mahon

  • green-flag

    Green Flag: For readers aged 13+

  • Finding A Voice

    Finding A Voice

    Friendship is a Two-Way Street ...
    By Kim Hood

    Shortlisted for the Bookseller YA Prize 2015!

    Jo can’t tell anyone how hard it is living with her mentally ill mother. Chris literally has no way to speak at all.  Together, can they finally find their voices?

    Existing projects: Wexford

  • blue-flag

    Blue Flag: For readers aged 10+

  • 17 Martin Street

    17 Martin Street

    By Marilyn Taylor

    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.

    Existing projects: Inchicore, Liberties

  • Across the Divide

    Across the Divide

    By Brian Gallagher

    When Liam, a poor eleven-year-old boy, and Nora, a rich ten-year-old girl meet at a Feis Ceol, an unlikely bond is formed - a bond that leads to a friendship spanning the deeply divided city that was Dublin in 1913.

    Existing projects: Dún Laoghaire, Fairview

  • Faraway Home

    Faraway Home

    By Marilyn Taylor

    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.

    Existing projects: Ballymun

  • Four Kids, Three Cats, Two Cows, One Witch (maybe)

    Four Kids, Three Cats, Two Cows, One Witch (maybe)

    By Siobhán Parkinson

    Beverley, Elizabeth, Kevin, Gerard and his cat visit the mysterious Lady Island, expecting some adventure and a little danger. But nothing prepares them for their encounter with the strange inhabitant of the island.

    Existing projects: Letterkenny

  • Secrets and Shadows

    Secrets and Shadows

    Two friends in a world at war
    By Brian Gallagher

    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.


    Existing projects: Wexford, Dublin 7

  • SOS Lusitania

    SOS Lusitania

    By Kevin Kiely

    In May 1915 the ocean liner Lusitania sails from New York. It is rumoured to have spies on board. Thirteen-year-old stowaway Finbar Kennedy finds works as a deck-hand. He begins to understand what’s happening, but there’s nothing he or the crew can do. Then a torpedo from a german submarine hits ...

    Existing projects: Cobh, Co. Cork

  • Spirit of the Titanic

    Spirit of the Titanic

    Written by Nicola Pierce, Illustrated by Emma Byrne

    The ghost of fifteen-year-old Samuel Scott moves restlessly aboard the Titanic as she sails to her doom in 1912. An eyewitness to the final days in the lives of rich and poor, crew and passengers, this is Samuel’s story …

    Existing projects: Ardee, Cobh, Limerick, Newbridge, Wexford, Kildare, The Curragh

  • Taking Sides

    Taking Sides

    A Boy. A Girl. A Nation Torn Apart.
    By Brian Gallagher

    Dublin, 1922. Working class Annie Reilly is thrilled to win a scholarship to Eccles Street School. Through a classmate she meets Peter Scanlon, a student in Belvedere College. Peter sides with the rebels in the Civil War and carries messages for them. When Annie’s life is threatened, he has to decide where his loyalties lie.

    Existing projects: Fairview, Larkin Community VEC

  • The Blue Horse

    The Blue Horse

    Written by Marita Conlon-McKenna, Illustrated by Donald Teskey

    Katie's whole world is turned upside down when her family's home is destroyed by fire. Everything they had is gone, and instead of pulling together it seems as though her family is falling apart.

    Existing projects: Fairview

  • The Guns of Easter

    The Guns of Easter

    By Gerard Whelan

    It is 1916 and Europe is at war. From the poverty of the Dublin slums twelve-year-old Jimmy Conway is pulled between the British Army and the rebels in the Easter Rising. Real history seen through the eyes of a child from a master storyteller.

    Existing projects: Athlone

  • The Secret of Kells

    The Secret of Kells

    Written by Eithne Massey, Illustrated by Cartoon Saloon

    See the movie that has wowed audiences around the world for yourself: Irish history and mythology reimagined for a new audience, and animated to the very highest standards.

    Existing projects: Kilkenny, Tuam

  • The Sound of Freedom

    The Sound of Freedom

    By Ann Murtagh

    Will Colm stay in Ireland and join the Volunteers or will he fulfil his dream of working as a musician in America? A long-held family secret comes to light, rocks Colm’s world and shows him the way to go.

    Existing projects: Monaghan

  • black-flag

    Black Flag: Picture books and storytelling to read aloud

  • The Secret of Kells

    The Secret of Kells

    Written by Tomm Moore, Retold by Mary Webb, Illustrated by Cartoon Saloon

    Featuring Vikings, fairies, and a very cute cat, the story of The Book of Kells is brought to life in this action-packed adventure.
    Movie tie-in

    Existing projects: Kilkenny, Tuam