Wednesday's Child: Summer reads series

Recommended read

A Greyhound of a Girl by Roddy Doyle (2011)

I’m on a bit of a mission at the moment reading kids’ books, courtesy of one of our leaflets here at Auckland Libraries recommending children’s fiction with a family history theme. What better way to share the reading love, after all, than to read the story for yourself. Even better, it’s a kid’s book so you can finish in an hour or so.

First up on my mish is this wonderful Roddy Doyle story, A Greyhound of a Girl. It’s a lovely story, pretty much about death.  Four generations of Irish women – 12-year-old Mary, her mother Scarlett, her dying grandmother Emer, and the ghost of her great-grandmother Tansey come together as Tansey (who died in her 20s) wants to see her dying daughter, Emer (now elderly.) It’s funny, emotional, witty, plenty of flashbacks chronicling the girls, and absolutely suitable for all ages so don’t just get it for your kids to read. Read and enjoy it for yourself -  especially if you love things Irish and great dialogue such as this:

“Well,” said Tansey. “I’m a ghost. It sounds a bit daft, but I’m the ghost of your great-granny.” She looked at Mary. “Are you surprised?” she asked.
“Not  really,” said Mary. “If you are my great granny then you have to be a ghost or something, like. Because she – you’ve been dead for ages.”

“Clever girl,” said Tansey.

“Prove it,” said Mary.

“Prove that you’re a clever girl?”

“No,” said Mary. “Prove you’re a ghost.”

And later on, the young ghost Tansey meets her ailing eighty-something daughter, Emer. Emer speaks first:

“I think I know you,” she said

“Good girl.”

“You’re my mother.”

“Yes,” said Tansey.

“Have you come to collect me?”

“Not yet,” said Tansey. “There’s no hurry.”

“But you’re dead.”

“I am.”

And even better…. If you’re travelling over the holidays, we also have an audiobook you can click here to borrow. Not a bad way to pass the time on the “Are we there, yet” trek!er the summer holidays and have fun reading, completing challenges, 

For summer reading fun, get the kids or grand-kids involved with Dare to Explore - Out of this world, Auckland Libraries summer reading adventure. Visit the Dare to Explore homepage for more information or join up at your local library.

Joanne Graves
Central Auckland Research Centre

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