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Ballywhinney Girl

3.35  ·  Rating Details ·  133 Ratings  ·  48 Reviews
Maeve is unnerved when she and her grandfather find a body in the bog in Ballywhinney, Ireland. It turns out to be the body of a young girl who lived more than a thousand years ago. A girl like Maeve, with fair hair, who walked the same fields and picked the same flowers. When archeologists display the mummy at a museum, Maeve wonders: Does the girl mind being displayed in ...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published March 6th 2012 by Clarion Books
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Besides the fact that it is possible to find mummified bodies in peat bogs in Ireland, this book was rather bland.
Margaret Chind
note to self... add shelf Ireland, Archaeology, Mummies, History

What a delight I found in reading this unexpected book today. While I would not have thought of such a way to introduce mummies to a young child, this is an elegant way. A reader is given not only a valuable lesson on archaeology in real life, but also to vocabulary and some culture of an Irish land and bog.

I could easily see this one come of the shelf for interest as well as extra story reinforcement in various classes. This one d
Jun 01, 2012 Nick rated it really liked it
This falls in the category of "picture book for older readers." I've seen criticism that the subject matter makes it unsuited to preschoolers, but the book was clearly never aimed at children that young. It's sort of like the problem of parents who think that all animated films must be aimed at young kids, and then complain about the contents every time they encounter one that's not.
Ballywhinney Girl is a very poetic book about finding a very old grave in the peat bog. The young girl central cha
Jun 28, 2012 Carolynne rated it really liked it
Based on actual findings of mummified remains in Ireland's bogs, Ballywhinney Girl is a fictional account. Bunting's language is simple but poetic, and the main character, Maeve, is able to identify with the mummy because of her wisps of blonde hair and the remains of flowers found next to the mummy. I enjoyed another of Bunting's books about Ireland, Market Day, and this would pair well with it in a unit on Ireland that does not include St. Patrick's Day! The observation of the mummy is handled ...more
Young Maeve and her grandfather are digging peat in a bog near their home when he unearths a body. The authorities are summoned; police procedures are followed; and archaeologists arrive and proclaim it to be a young girl who has been buried and preserved there for probably thousands of years. Neighbors and media crowd around, but the focus is on Maeve and her reaction to these events. Bunting’s expressive free verse conveys Maeve’s “fear and curiosity, but there was more . . .”—astonishment, ...more
Terri Lynn
I shelved this book in children's , fiction, AND history and mystery because it contains all of these elements in what is the most unique children's picture book I have ever seen. Leave it to Eve Bunting to tackle the case of a young girl and her grandfather finding a thousand year old girl's skeleton in the bog in Ballywhinney, Ireland where they are cutting peat for the fire in such a bold, honest, and unique way.

The art is exquisite. It captures the mood and flavor of Ireland beautifully and
Klaudia Janek
Jan 06, 2014 Klaudia Janek rated it it was amazing
Shelves: libres
Highly Recommended [return][return]Maeve and her grandfather were out collecting peat for their kitchen fireplace and they uncovered a dead body. Maeve ran home to tell her mom to call the local police. The police realized it was a mummy and called in archeologists from Dublin. They carefully took the mummy to the museum to test it and put it on display. Maeve began to question whether or not this was the right thing to do.[return][return]It was discovered that the mummy was a girl about Maeve’s ...more
Apr 06, 2012 Molly rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: ages 7 & older
I usually try to post about a picture book on Friday's for my blog, but this one is not so much a picture book as it is a story book with illustrations. I really enjoyed reading this and I think that I would have enjoyed it when I was younger too. I'd put somewhere around 1st grade and up. Younger ones might get a little freaked out. I can totally see myself being completely fascinated by this story, especially at that age when every kid is obsessed with mummies. Ballywhinney Girl is not about E ...more
When her grandfather finds the mummified remains of a young girl while digging in the Irish bog, Maeve is, by turns, intrigued, mystified, and troubled by the find. As the remains are removed by archaelogists, she feels a connection to the girl and later wonders about the intrusive investigation of her remains. While Maeve understands that much can be learned by studying the mummy, she is troubled that the girl will be displayed in a museum and wonders whether she might not have been better off ...more
Jun 17, 2012 Linda rated it it was amazing
This is my last ‘find’ at the library, a brand new book by award winners Eve Bunting, writer of the Caldecott winner, Smoky Night and Emily Arnold McCully, illustrator of the Caldecott winner, Mirette on the High Wire. Eve Bunting was born in Ireland, but now lives in the US. This story is a fictional story of a little girl in Ireland whose grandfather was digging some peat in the bog and found a ‘bog girl’, possibly thought to have been there as long as a thousand years. The story is carried ...more
This story gave me both chills and the faintest hint of melancholy. It's about the discovery of ancient body in a bog by a girl and her grandfather. The girl witnesses all that the discovery bring about, from the reaction of her family through the exhumation of the boy by scientists who display the body in a museum. The girl does not approve of what happens to the body, and in the end is wistful about the entire experience. Still, the book was strong enough to have a powerful impact on me, so ...more
Matt Youngbauer
Sep 05, 2013 Matt Youngbauer rated it really liked it
Shelves: ireland
I am not always a fan of Eve Bunting, but this one I enjoyed; perhaps because she writes better when she's writing about her native Ireland. The story is simple; a young girl and her grandfather find a mummy while cutting peat. What follows is less of a story and more of a light introduction to mummies, archeology and history. The young girl Maeve feels a real connection to the "Ballywhinney Girl" and sensitive young readers will sympathize with her emotions. At first glance Emily Arnold ...more
Jul 12, 2012 Holly rated it liked it
This story about a young girl named Maive who finds a body with her grandfather in the bog in Ballywhinney, Ireland, is rather macabre. It turns out it's a thousand year old mummy of a young girl about Maive's age with tufts of hair as blond as hers. She imagines her dawdling along the lanes, picking flowers, and singing. Maeve feels concerned about whether or not she wanted moved to the museum in Dublin to be on display. In the afterword, Eve Bunting explains the science behind the ...more
Apr 13, 2016 Sara rated it liked it
Shelves: folk
Eve Bunting's 'The Ballywhinney Girl' is the story of Maeve and her grandfather who find a mummy of a young girl while walking in a peat bog in Ireland. The mummy, nicknamed 'The Ballywhinney Girl' for the location she was found, is turned over to anthropologists in Dublin and eventually displayed in a museum.

Maeve is left to ruminate over the consequences of death, and struggles with wondering whether the mummy girl would have been happier left in the peat bog covered in flowers rather than pr
Apr 21, 2012 Deborah rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-book
A young girl's grandpa finds a bog child on his property. The police and an archaeologist are called in. The young girl finds out the child is a girl and her imagination reels: how did this girl find herself stuck in the bog, preserved for a thousand years? What was she doing when she was enveloped by the land? How does she feel being dug up from the privacy of her home and put on display in a cold museum? An afterward explains the phenomenon of bog people throughout the world.

Young readers will
Apr 14, 2014 JaNeal rated it really liked it
WARNING! This isn't a book for every child and at any age as it (spoiler alert) deals with finding a mummified little girl. Still, something about this book grabbed me. Perhaps part of it is the beautiful language by Eve Bunting and the soft and dreamy illustrations by emily Arnold McCully. I also think it is an interesting way to deal with the topic of death--a crossover of disturbing and beautiful. I also like the complications of archaeology and ethics that come into play in this tale. The ...more
Rebecca Ann
May 16, 2012 Rebecca Ann rated it it was ok
Shelves: picture-books
I'm not entirely sure this subject matter fits the audience the book is aimed at. While there are some children that will appreciate this somber, introspective snapshot, I think more would be disturbed by it. The story follows a girl and her grandfather finding a bog body and wondering about the life the girl led before she was preserved. There wasn't much sense of conclusion, and it felt more like a ghost story toward the end. The illustrations were (maybe) watercolor and pen/ink. They were ...more
Sandy Brehl
Bunting and McCully are an unbeatable combination, but this book requires a particular audience. Based on the fact that the bog lands and peat beds are natural mummifies, and numerous mummified remains have been turned up in the course of hand-cutting peat, This story of a found small mummy is told through the young girl character who fully identifies with the real child the mummy once was.
With much more extensive text than is currently typical, this topic, setting,and vocabulary makes it an ef
May 02, 2012 Shelli rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Not a typical picture book read. One day a girl and her grandfather find the remains of young girl buried in their bog, these remains have been laying preserved in the bog for around 1,000 years. Very informative book about how bogs preserve people and relics from the past. I liked the way the young girl in the story showed respect to the found girl and wondered about her feelings about being uncovered after all these years. Interest level on this book would probably be for intermediate age ...more
Dec 26, 2014 Alice rated it really liked it
Shelves: 4-stars
I struggle with most of Eve Bunting things I have read, but I actually found this one fascinating. Having been to Ireland I can imagine the bogs that an ancient girl might have walked and where she died, and then the bog preserved and mummified her to be discovered in the modern day. Even though the story is fictitious it is based on true events. They say they find tools and mummies all the time in the bog. However with modern machine cutting the bog these mummies might be destroyed. I still ...more
I think this would be ok for 8 and up. If the child was younger, I am not sure they would understand this book. It is quite dark. Dealing with death and a body found buried in a field, the subject matter, I don't think, is good for a young child.

I was concerned about the attachment the girl in the story has to the mummy.

I liked the illustrations of this book and the story, but as an adult. It does open up the subject of mummies and/or Ireland bogs.

AR 3.6
Kay Carman
Feb 23, 2016 Kay Carman rated it liked it
Summary: "Young Maeve feels a strong connection to the mysterious, mummified body of a young girl that her grandfather uncovers while cutting turf in an Irish bog. Includes facts about bogs and the mummies that have been found in them."

I have more books by Bunting than any other author on my list of favorite picture books. The most appealing factor of this story is the gentle Maeve and her sensitivity to those around her as well as her love of and appreciation for the natural world.
Mar 25, 2012 Ann rated it liked it
This collaboration between Bunting and McCully is written in a combination of poetry and prose. It has a nice Irish country feel to it and a pleasant mysteriousness, especially in the part where the young girl in the present day links her life to the 1000 year old dead girl she discovers in a local bog. The mummy is never shown, which may be tasteful but it might not satisfy curious young readers. The afterword about bogs and the history of found "bog people" in modern day Ireland is well-done.
Tina Rae
Sep 05, 2012 Tina Rae rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens-lit
I WISH THIS STORY WOULD HAVE BEEN AROUND WHEN I WAS A CHILD!! It basically fits my future career to a T, haha. I honestly don't remember reading anything like this when I was a child. I think I definitely would've been frightened at the thought of finding a body in my backyard, haha. But, regardless, I'm glad a book like this exists because it does give insight into something that is so prevalent today: today and how it's starting to get closer to home.
Mar 15, 2016 Molly rated it liked it
Shelves: st-patrick-s-day
I just read this to myself. It's not quite as light-hearted and fun as my usual St. Patrick's Day reads, but it's still interesting. It has nothing to do with the holiday, just a mummy found in an Irish bog. It's kinda creepy and it makes you think. I especially like the informational page at the end.
Aug 20, 2012 Lia rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-book, bogs
A girl and her grandfather find the ancient, preserved body of a little girl in the bog where they are harvesting peat. Interesting premise for a children's picture book. It works in someways, but not in others.
Jeanette Johnson
Oct 06, 2012 Jeanette Johnson rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
This story was very informative. I liked the perspective of the girl Maeve. I liked that she was considerate of mummy they found and treated her as she would treat someone who was still alive. I liked her introspective thoughts.
Apr 23, 2012 Jen rated it it was ok
Any book with the discovery of a dead body in the first page generally loses me. This was an interesting story, but centers around the discovery of a mummy in Ireland on a family farm. Very dark. Not for the feint of heart. I'd say ages 8 and up... Pretty illustrations though.
Jun 04, 2012 Rachel rated it liked it
A simple story about two girls from very different times who connect with one another. Could have used more emotion from the text and the illustrations only show the mundane parts of the story. Great connections to the novel Bog Child though, and lots of nonfiction as well.
I think what I appreciated the most was the worried & contemplative expressions on Maeve's face all the way through the book. They were a subtle but effective signal to young readers that it is okay to have a mixture of emotions about something like this.
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Also known as Evelyn Bolton and A.E. Bunting.

Anne Evelyn Bunting, better known as Eve Bunting, is an author with more than 250 books. Her books are diverse in age groups, from picture books to chapter books, and topic, ranging from Thanksgiving to riots in Los Angeles. Eve Bunting has won several awards for her works.

Bunting went to school in Ireland and grew up with storytelling. In Ireland, “The
More about Eve Bunting...

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