Secrets and Shadows

Secrets and Shadows coverWhen her home is destroyed in the Luftwaffe bombing of the North Strand, Dublin in 1941, Grace Ryan is forced to move in with relatives in a different part of the city. There she meets Barry Malone, an English boy sent to neutral Ireland to escape the terrible air raids on his native city of Liverpool.

Wary of each other at first, Grace and Barry become friends when she acts to stop him being bullied in his new school. Barry later saves Grace from losing her part-time job in a shop and, with school about to end, a summer of fun stretches before them in the sports club run by his teacher, Mr Pawlek.

However, Barry begins to suspect Mr Pawlek of spying for the Nazis and he enrols Grace in his attempts to find proof. But what starts as an exciting challenge becomes increasingly risky, and their friendship is put to the test when their very lives hang in the balance.


What the reviewers say:

will give readers insight into life during the Second World War and will appeal to readers of 10+ who enjoy mystery or historical fiction

School Librarian Magazine

deftly weaving historic fact and period detail into a fictional but nevertheless entirely credible story … nail-biting

Books Ireland

would hopefully encourage further study about the effects of war on ordinary people

Books Ireland

heart-stopping action likely to hold readers aged nine to teens in its thrall

Evening Echo

a turbulent historical backdrop based on carefully researched detail

Evening Echo

thrilling novel is a window on the past

Evening Echo

story of friendship and suspicion, excitement and intrigue

The Scotsman

Secrets and Shadows is an exciting children’s wartime adventure with lots of factual details and historical snippets to give it a good feel of time and place but without over-shadowing the plot… this should be a book to appeal to both boys and girls

a refreshing change to read a book set in Ireland during the war

had me gripped from the start

confident and reluctant readers will be richly rewarded by the truly gripping climax

CBI’s Recommended Reads 2012

between a historical novel and a spy caper

CBI’s Recommended Reads 2012