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About the book
  • Published: 1 October 2015
  • ISBN: 9781909531178
  • Imprint: Definitions
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 336
  • RRP: $19.99

Bog Child

The extraordinary story of one long summer in the life of an 18-year-old boy caught up in the chaos and conflict of Ireland in the 1980s.

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 what, a little voice comes to him in his dreams, and the mystery of the bog child unfurls.

Bog Child is an astonishing novel exploring the sacrifices made in the name of peace, and the unflinching strength of the human spirit.

  • Pub date: 1 October 2015
  • ISBN: 9781909531178
  • Imprint: Definitions
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 336
  • RRP: $19.99

About the Author

Siobhan Dowd

Siobhan Dowd lived in Oxford with her husband, Geoff, before tragically dying from cancer in August 2007, aged 47. She was both an extraordinary writer and an extraordinary person.

Siobhan's first novel, A Swift Pure Cry, won the Branford Boase Award and the Eilis Dillon Award and was shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal and Booktrust Teenage Prize.

Her second novel, The London Eye Mystery, won the 2007 NASEN & TES Special Educational Needs Children's Book Award. In March 2008, the book was shortlisted for the prestigious Children's Books Ireland Bisto Awards.

Siobhan's third novel, Bog Child, was the first book to be posthumously awarded the Carnegie Medal in 2008.

The award-winning novel A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness was based on an idea of Siobhan's. Her novella, The Ransom of Dond, was published in 2013, illustrated throughout by Pam Smy.

Also by Siobhan Dowd

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Praise for Bog Child

“As a writer, Dowd appears to be incapable of a jarring phrase or a lazy metaphor. Her sentences sing, each note resonates with an urgent humanity of the sort that cannot be faked”


“The work of an outstanding writer”

The Sunday Times

“A captivating first love affair, a hilarious red herring and profound truths about politics and family add up to a novel set to win awards in the coming year”


“An unflinchingly honest and brave novel”

Irish Independent

“Only two months in, and I may have already found my favourite book of the year. Siobhan Dowd's Bog Child is an astonishing read and the kind of book that holds you in a trance”

The Bookseller

“Dowd creates a complex world of death, morality, fear, the longong for a united republic, for freedom”

Oxford Times

“A harrowing story of choice and obligation, peace and politics”


“5 out of 5 stars”

Sunday Express

“A dramatic and poignant tale from a sadly missed talent”

Norwich Evening News

“Bog Child is a beautiful novel offering a unique insight in to Irish history”

Irish Post

“Fergus is an appealling hero, and the entwined secrecy of borders, soldiers, volunteers, smugglers, and families are interestingly used”

Dublin Evening Herald

“Dowd's lightness of touch allows humour and poignancy to shine through”

Daily Telegraph

“This is a wonderful book”

Mail on Sunday

“It is a book we would all do well to read, teenager and adult alike”

The School Librarian

“Despite it's heavy themes it's a book brimming with passion, humour and hope”


“Bog Child is beautifully written, with rarely a word written out of place . . . A fascinating read for older teens and adults alike”


“Often funny, sometimes shocking; just as you think you can guess what's coming next the plot unfurls more surprises. This book spills over with compassion and hope”


“With plenty of humour and surprising twists it's a compelling, entertaining book for teens and adults”

Irish Examiner

“New and challenging book full of mystery and shadows . . . Both terrifying and fascinating from the start, Bog Child is a must-read”

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