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Bog Child

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  3,163 Ratings  ·  494 Reviews
DIGGING FOR PEAT in the mountain with his Uncle Tally, Fergus finds the body of a child, and it looks like she's been murdered. As Fergus tries to make sense of the mad world around him?his brother on hunger-strike in prison, his growing feelings for Cora, his parents arguing over the Troubles, and him in it up to the neck, blackmailed into acting as courier to God knows w ...more
Paperback, 336 pages
Published June 8th 2010 by David Fickling Books (first published February 7th 2008)
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Pipkia Bog Child is arguably her most well known and probably the one that is most like A Monster Calls in tone. And it's bloody brilliant. So I'd start…moreBog Child is arguably her most well known and probably the one that is most like A Monster Calls in tone. And it's bloody brilliant. So I'd start there.(less)
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Ah Jesus. This really is a beautiful, heart-wrenching story. My one piece of advice? If you do the audio thing, then that's how to do this one. Sile Bermingham is the perfect reader, her soft lilt a gorgeous accompaniment not just to the lyrical prose that will make you shudder when it's read aloud, but delivering on the Irish accent transporting you to a very particular time and place.

It should have been the Irish history content of this novel that brought it to my attention (more on that late
After I given many YA books low rating I been asked why I still read them? Answer is to fin books like. It's been worth going to lot of crap to find gems like this.
After A Monster call by Patrick Ness which was based on concept by Siobhan Dowd I was intrigued to read more from both authors. Ness was first and now that I'm finished with most of his stuff it's Dowd's turn.

About the book there isn't much to say (without revealing too much) except that this is YA coming of age story set in turbulent
Jan 23, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is yet another book that made me wish Goodreads allowed 1/2 stars. I ultimately went with 3 instead of 4 because although I enjoyed it, and like some elements of the story very much, the writing is a bit simplistic and the plot is predictable at times.

Still, I'm very glad that I happened across this book in a used bookstore, because for once an impulse buy paid off (I usually have much better luck when I select books on Goodreads than when I go by the blurbs on back covers). It has a powerf
Dov Zeller
So many compelling moments in this book, with Fergus an endearing and engaging protagonist. His curiosity, concern, intelligence, appreciation of people and refusal to let go of the complexity that allows him to see the "other" as deeply human combine with his shyness and humility to make him a character who is easy to care for (at least in my experience).

The storyline is not always satisfying and the plot a bit heavy handed at times. The whole bog child element I found more distracting than eng
Apr 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was a wonderful read. Fergus will be one of my favorite characters for years to come.
in recent years I haven't read any book on Ireland, and I am very vague about Irish history. I just know that they were under the British for a long time.
I came upon this book when I read A Monster Calls as a part of the group BOTM read (this book too wouldn't have been in my radar otherwise) and Patrick Ness, the author , in his foreword a suggested that the reader should try out books by Siobhan Doud, whos
Mar 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017, young-adult
Самата аз не очаквах толкова много да ми хареса този YA-роман! Историята е много добре написана и правдива, има и историко-мистични елементи, които не са водещи обаче.
Действието се развива в Северна Ирландия , по време на конфликта и терористичните акции на ИРА. Мисля, че това ми е първата книга, която чета за Ирландия от 80-те години на XX век и ми беше много интересна.
Главният герой ми беше много симпатичен. Имаше и някои комични моменти, на които съм се смяла с глас. Същевременно се засягат
Gurveen Kaur
Apr 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I came across Siobhan Dowd while reading A Monster Calls by Patrik Ness. I learned that the storyline was originally drafted by Siobhan, however before she could complete it, she lost her life to cancer. Since both these authors shared the same publishing house, Ness was approached to continue and give the storyline shape and bring it to life (to which he very humbly agreed).
We had a group discussion on it and some of us expressed our interest in reading some books by Siobhan, and mutually agre
Mixed feelings on this one. I really enjoyed the setting of Ireland during the Troubles and hunger strikes of the early 1980s. A great deal of the story was gripping, tense and interesting. Fergus is a great character that really stayed constant and true throughout the story-which I appreciated. It was a book I had a difficult time putting down.
But...there were a few things that bothered me. Mostly there were some believability issues. For example, (and this may seem a petty problem with the sto
Aug 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
A personal favourite of mine. I found the book in my high school library and was impelled to read it due to the interesting premise. I have a very strong historical calling, and historical fiction is a nice slip between reality and fantasy.

Fergus is a graduating high school student who crosses the border with his Uncle Tally to swipe some peat in the early morning hours and stumbles upon the body of what appears to be a young girl of seven or eight. At his insistence, his uncle goes back to the
Nov 24, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Masterful! Dowd weaves multiple plot lines throughout this compelling story and there is never a moment when the pace falters or the story loses the way. Fergus McCan and his vague Uncle Tally cross the border that divides Ireland to dig peat at a construction site. They discover the body of what appears to be a child and the police of both side's authorities appear on the scene only to learn that the body is ancient. Mel, the young girl, appears at intervals in Fergus' dreams, slowly revealing ...more
Josephine (Jo)
Jun 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
This was a superb bit of writing! When I was a teenager there was very little in the way of books aimed specifically at that age group, now there are some fantastic books that cross over the boundary and are great for adults too. Bog child is about a body of a young girl found in a peat bog in Ireland by an eighteen year old boy called Fergus. Fergus is out cutting turf to sell with his uncle Tally when they see the body. The investigation into the identity of the child and how she came to be in ...more
Apr 16, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is my favorite Siobhan Dowd book and it's a terrible shame that Ms. Dowd lost her fight with cancer before its publication.

The book's main character, Fergus McCann, deals with some weighty subjects - the Troubles, a brother in prison and on a hunger strike, an uncle that's not who Fergus thought he was, exams that will determine his future, falling in love, and a mysterious body, found preserved in the peat moss bog outside of town. Along the way he makes friends with a Welsh soldier statio
Jun 17, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
I enjoyed the Irish history of the Troubles and the present day story. However, I found the bog child thread of the story awkward and rather trite. The need to draw these parallels between the two eras felt forced and way too heavy-handed. And really, Fergus suggests the Pompeii thing and the professional archeologists are like, why didn't we think of that brilliant explanation? That's realistic...
Rebecca McNutt
This book is a step away from the many recent horror novels I've been reading. Bog Child is a powerful novel that really inspires and takes hold of its readers, and it's a very creative one, too.
Aug 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorite
Ovo ide u favorite . God , kako je ovo bilo lijepo
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Phèdre Banshee
“È solo questione di tempo,” pensò Fergus. “Per ogni cosa, in ogni posto.”

Un thriller surreale pieno di elementi interessanti anche se poco sviluppati, tra cui spicca soprattutto la storia della bambina dimenticata dal tempo. Se vi interessano i libri con uno sfondo socio-politico ben preciso, un mix di thriller, feels e similitudini tanto orrende quanto divertenti, potreste dargli un’occasione, ma non aspettatevi nulla di che.

Recensione approfondita qui:
Dowd is an author whose work I’ve been planning to read for a while. But being the sort of reader who seeks out stories based on the feeling they’re likely to evoke, the timing never quite seemed right. It was a conversation between work colleagues about the unrest in Ireland in the late 1970s which left me wanting to understand more about the conflict. Suddenly, it was the perfect time to read Bog Child, a stunning and evocative novel which is a late addition to my ‘favourites of 2014’ list.

On a study break from preparing for his A-level exams, Fergus accompanies his uncle Tally on a peat-digging trip when they find the body in the bog. Police argue about which side of Ireland's north-south border the body is on and therefore who is responsible for handling this apparent murder case--but then the body is determined to be much older than any open murder case, possibly Iron Age. Fergus gets deeply involved in trying to unravel the mystery of who the girl was (as well as getting deepl ...more
Feb 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017-loetud
Tutvustuse leiab blogist
Sep 06, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
1)I think a better understanding of the political turmoil in Ireland's history would have improved appreciation of this one. Sometimes I was just guessing. Most of what I know is just vague memories of news reports when I was a kid. And that Tom Clancy/Jack Ryan movie.

2)Though I did hear a lot about the LONG history of oppression in Ireland when I was there this summer.

2)I totally don't get the relevance of the bog child. This was mainly about Fergus. I mean, I guess he FOUND her while out with
Dec 13, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya
Set during the time when Irish prisoners were starving themselves, the trouble faced by families whose loved ones were involved is portrayed in a moving style. The discovery of a mummified body by a boy whose brother is starving himself leads the boy to mature and take action to help his brother. The characters are well developed and the romance will pull in many readers. A beautiful achievement.
Aug 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Y9-11 for a different view on the world. Readers in NZ will have little in common with Fergus, and may find it a bit strange that his life could be so dominated by religion and politics so I'd recommend a bit of research about 'The Troubles' alongside this book.

Ireland and Northern Ireland are beautiful and have a long, deep history that isn't always as charming as the people can be. On top of that, it rains a lot! 5 stars and thanks to the author.
Mar 18, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya-fiction, favorites
This may be the best YA historical fiction novel I've ever read - The haunting story provides insight into the causes and effects of the Troubles without ever resorting to the merely informative. Dowd refuses to provide easy answers in her unflinching examination of tough issues like sacrifice, borders, political action, love, patriotism, and personal and familial responsiblity.
Anka Räubertochter
3.5 Sterne
Zeitweise hatte ich überhaupt keine Lust mehr auf die Geschichte und musste mich wirklich zwingen weiterzulesen. Das letzte Drittel hingegen war super. So hätte gerne das komplette Buch sein können.
Alles in allem war es im Kern eine Coming of Age Story, die allerdings mit einem Hauch magischen Realismus' sowie (nord-)irischer Geschichte versehen war. Allerdings hatte ich doch erwartet, dass es noch mehr um die Troubles gehen würde. Im Endeffekt geht es schon um dieses Thema, aber eben
Deborah Pawley
I read this book to my 12 year old and we both learned a lot from it - about the Bog People they discover in the peat bogs in Ireland and about The Troubles in Ireland in the 1980's. It provoked some interesting discussions between us and gave me an opportunity to introduce my daughter to the wonderful poetry of Seamus Heaney and his Bog People! The story and the writing weren't fantastic but the content was certainly interesting and thought-provoking.
Jan 29, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Set in 1981, this novel brings modern readers back into the center of the discord over Northern Ireland. Eighteen-year-old Fergus McCann lives with his family in the northern counties, which are held by Great Britain. The family is embroiled in the fight for independence against the foreign holders. In fact, his brother is currently in prison and has started a hunger strike, and he is not alone. There are other men in the prison doing the same, and some have even died from it. This leaves Fergus ...more
Lit. class review:

Bog Child. Siobhan Dowd. 322 pages. David Fickling Books 2008.

This one from the 2009 top ten list caught my eye because I was in Ireland last summer and my friend and I went to the “bog bodies” exhibit in Dublin. A review I read said Dowd combines a story of a girl from the Iron Age with stories of the Troubles in Northern Ireland “into a successful, even riveting, work of fiction”. I’m intrigued.

p. 109 – The main character of the story is Fergus, who lives in Northern Ireland,
Check this review out and others on my blog: Get Real.

A fascinating story that sheds light on a turbulent time in Irish history, as well as the phenomenon of bog bodies. Fergus McCann's brother Joe is doing time in a Northern Irish prison for collaborating with terrorists during the Troubles - a brutal period in Irish history that culminated in violent deaths on the sides of Republicans and Unionists alike. Joe and the other prisoners in his bloc are undergoing a hunger strike as part of a prote
Sep 12, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A true humanitarian who worked on human rights issues around the world, Siobhan Dowd was also a rising star in the Y/A literature field.

Bog Child, Siobhan's third Y/A book, are two stories in one. Set in Northern Ireland during the early 1980's, Fergus and his uncle have just uncovered a body that buried in the bog where they were harvesting turf. Who is she, how did she die and why is she buried in the bog?

But we also have the story of Fergus's family. Fergus's older brother Joe is in prision a
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Siobhan Dowd was born to Irish parents and brought up in London. She spent much of her youth visiting the family cottage in Aglish, County Waterford and later the family home in Wicklow Town.
She attended a Catholic grammar school in south London and then gained a degree in Classics at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford University. After a short stint in publishing, she joined the writer's organization PEN
More about Siobhan Dowd...
“The studying, the books, exams, arguments, theories. The jokes and pints, laughter, kisses and songs. Life was like running, ninety percent sweat and toil, ten per cent joy.” 33 likes
“Death is not a reaper, like they say, nor even a friend. It is a dark, fierce water, an inundation.” 18 likes
More quotes…