Stevecrandell's Reviews > Bog Child

Bog Child by Siobhan Dowd
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Aug 03, 11

bookshelves: grades-9-and-up, historical-fiction, multicultural-world-lit, teen-boys
Read in August, 2011

This book is an impressive combination of challenge and reward. Lots of Irish slang, geography, and political history: with very little support to clarify matters for typical teen readers. I have an OK sense of the Irish/UK conflict, but Dowd’s physical description of the borderlands had me confused. It took time to decipher all the loughs, conkers, Semtex and other terms. And I eventually had to search for JCB on the Internet. But for those who are willing to piece together the puzzles, this is an exciting political thriller, with troubling moral questions.

Fergus is a likeable and believable teen hero – torn between his family, his Irish Catholic heritage, and dreams of college. His life is further complicated when he discovers an archaeological treasure in a nearby peat bog. Dowd even manages to weave romance and humor into the plot. This story has almost everything I could want, except maybe a map and a glossary.
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