This is the first book in the famine trilogy. "The Great Irish Famine" brilliantly recreated through the story of three young survivors. Ireland in the 1840s is devastated by famine. When tragedy strikes their family Eily, Michael and Peggy are left to fend for themselves. Starving and in danger of ending up in the dreaded workhouse, they escape. Their one hope is to find the great-aunts they have heard about in their mother's stories. With tremendous courage they set out on a journey that will test every reserve of strength, love and loyalty they possess.
About The Author
Born in Dublin in 1956 and brought up in Goatstown, Marita went to school at the Convent of the Sacred Heart, Mount Anville, later working in the family business, the bank, and a travel agency. In 1977 she married James McKenna and they have four children, Amanda, Laura, Fiona and James. They live in the Stillorgan area of Dublin. Marita was always fascinated by the Famine period in Irish history and read everything available on the subject. When she heard a radio report of an unmarked children's grave from the Famine period being found under a hawthorn tree, she decided to write her first book, Marita has won several awards, including the International Reading Association Award, the Osterreichischer Kinder und Jugendbuchpreis, the Reading Association of Ireland Award and the Bisto Book of the Year Award.
(A) vivid picture of the Famine era ... fascinating and terrifying -- Evening Echo Marita Conlon-Mckenna handles this appalling event in Irish history sensitively but never compromising the truth of hardship and human suffering. -- Jane Murphy - writeaway.org.uk the powerful story of the survival of three children, alone, and against the odds. -- Publishing News makes a whole part of our history come alive, while it still remains a thrilling adventure tale. -- RTE Guide * RTE Guide * Brings the story of the Irish Famine thrillingly alive. -- The Irish Post The Great Irish Famine of the 1840s has received more fictional treatment than almost any other period in Irish historical children's books. Writing about the Famine posed new challenges to writers for children. The traditional passivity linked to ideas about famine would need to be overcome by some kind of action. The intense and horrible suffering and disease would need to be confronted truthfully but without lurid sensationalism. Some sense of an ending would need to be provided. In Under the Hawthorn Tree, Marita Conlon-McKenna confronted these problems with honesty and simplicity: the plight of three children becomes a kind of pilgrimage. The search for survival is not merely that, but also a search to sustain family loyalty and preserve memory. -- The Big Guide to Irish Children's Books ... beautiful and moving ... historically true and fictionally vivid. -- The Sunday Times A sublime story ... I don't know any child who will not find this book enthralling. -- The Irish Times makes a whole part of our history come alive, while it still remains a thrilling adventure tale. -- RTE Guide A great survival saga -- The Irish Independent The Children of the Famine trilogy ... continues to not only educate Irish children about their history, but enable people to truly connect with what happened -- The Looking Glass her books never shy away from difficult issues, gripping you from the very opening chapter -- The Looking Glass vividly brings history to life for its readers ... a hugely involving tale -- Mad About Books beloved the world over -- The Herald