Sunday, 10 October 2010

Childrens Books - Author Marita Conlon-McKenna

Author Marita Conlon-McKenna

Under the Hawthorn Tree
The O'Brien Press. Dublin. 2008
ISBN No: 978 0 86278 206 1

Wildflower Girl
The O'Brien Press. Dublin
ISBN No:978 0 86278 283 2
I know that quite a few of of those who visit this blog have children, so for a bit of a change from talking about adult books, I would like to introduce you to the fantastic children's author, Marita Conlon-McKenna.

Marita has become known as one of Ireland's most popular children's authors. Living in Dublin, Marita has written quite a number of bestselling children's books.

Marita's first book, 'Under the Hawthorn Tree', immediately became a bestseller and has been reprinted numerous times since it was first published in 1990. This historical fiction story is set in Ireland in the 1840's, when this country was devastated by famine. The story tells the tale of three children Eily, Michael and Peggy, who have to fend for themselves when tragedy strikes and they loose their parents. In danger of being sent to the workhouse and starving with hunger, the children escape in order to try and find their great-aunts, who they heard about in their mother's  stories. This story recounts the children's courageous journey and the strengths they had to possess in order to find their great-aunts.

In 1919 Marita then published a second book in her 'Children of the Famine' series called 'Wildflower Girl'.This story focuses on Peggy, who was seven when she made the journey to find her great-aunts with her brother and sister. Now thirteen, this book tells the story of how she sets off alone, across the Atlantic ocean to America.

The third book that Marita wrote in this very popular children's trilogy is called 'Fields of Home'. Back in Ireland Eily and her family struggle trying to make a living on a small farm, while Michael works at the Big House helping with the horses. At the same time in America, Peggy is being drawn towards the Wild West.

'Under the Hawthorn Tree' has won an International Reading Association Award, while in 1992, 'Wildflower Girl' won the Irish Children's Book Trust Book of the Year, in the Historical Novel Category.

Marita Conlon-McKenna's books have been reprinted many times since they were first published. You may find current editions of her books under a different printer than the editions which I have cited above.These books have been written for children within the age group of between 11-13 years of age. If you have not heard of this author and her books yet, I would strongly advise you to hunt out some of this author's work, and then let your children decide what they think of her stories!


  1. I just came over here from your page on Book Blogs. I love the covers and the synopses on these books. My oldest son lived in Ireland for awhile, and I have a number of his gallery-displayed photographs on my walls. My wish is to go to Ireland someday (and to England!).

    Now he lives in Berlin, after ten years in Prague. I think he's never moving back to the states! So I guess I must go there, too!

  2. Hi Laurel! Thanks for visiting here. I'm glad you like this post. Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales are beautiful places to live and to visit! Hopefully you will manage a visit here sometime soon. Best wishes for now.

  3. These books sound fabulous. I am hoping I'll someday have grandchildren so I may read these to them.

  4. Hey, I love your blog! I don't have many followers yet, and I'd really appreciate if you could follow me! I could follow you back...


  5. I'm a 26 year old single women, but I do love children's book from time to time. And oldies are more powerful I sometimes. I'll have to check this one out ! Plus I love the hand drawing covers ^_^

  6. These books look great for my daughter, she is only eight but is mature and an extremely advanced reader.

  7. I haven't read this author and they look like books my daughter would enjoy. Thanks for bringing them to my attention.

  8. Thanks for following me, I love children's books!

  9. I've recommended Conlon-McKenna's trilogy to many ten-year-olds, and they love them. For recommendations on books for children ages 5-10, please see my new children's lit blog at

  10. Hi, I am reading Marita Conlan-McKenna's A Taste for Love, a chit lit. I am a writer new to blogging and am looking for blogs to follow and thought I'd look up the author I'm reading at the moment. That's how I came across this blog! I didn't know she wrote children's books as well!



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