Lockdown may be easing in many countries, but it is still big news. Maybe it helps children to read about kids in other countries, or other situations from themselves.  If so, Clare O’Beara’s two books featuring kids in lockdown in Ireland will hit the spot.

I found the first because I’m on Clare O’Beara’s mailing list.  I probably found the second the same way, but was honoured to find that my review of the first (read in August) was included in the backmatter for the second!  These are very different from Clare’s scifi series ‘Dining Out…‘, but just as good for the different audience.

A Pony for Quarantine

a dun pony and rider, all ready for a show.by Clare O’Beara

Moya O’Leary is thirteen when the Coronavirus Pandemic reaches Ireland. Her class is sent home, to take lessons on line, and her family has to adapt to the quarantine situation.

Moya is blessed with a lively young Connemara pony which she was hoping to enter in jumping competitions. That seems less likely as the country enters strict lockdown. Her mum and dad are more concerned about her little brother Michael, who is on the autism spectrum. If Moya can find a way to keep training, she will be ready to ride when competitions start again. But the rising tensions produce challenges, and life may never go back to normal.

This informative, positive thinking story for young people mixes fact with fiction, horsey lore and a recipe.

My Review

Charming story for young readers 8 and up, especially pony lovers, set at the start of lockdown for Covid-19 in Ireland. This provides a great insight into what life was like for other people, and in other neighbourhoods. My great-nieces would be envious of the chance to bike out every day to look after a pony!

add to goodreads buttonBut in essence it’s a pony book, and what’s not to like about a pony book told with all Clare O’Beara’s wonderful insight and experience.

A Dog for Lockdown

dog for lockdownby Clare O’Beara

Dermot Greaney turns thirteen on the day schools in Ireland are closed due to the Coronavirus Pandemic. The Dublin boy tries to get on with life, coping with online school, his mother battling a pre-diabetic condition and the community lockdown. When the senior man next door is taken ill, Dermot promptly volunteers to care for his large dog, which might be the best decision he ever made.

In the lively dog Sheila, Dermot finds a friend at last. Someone to be on his side, even when his mum insists on serving him salads and the class hooligans start cyber-bullying him. In return for his care, Sheila teaches him responsibility – but will he learn in time? Sometimes our own actions cause us trouble. And sometimes we’ll find happiness unexpectedly.

This informative, positive thinking story for young people is packed with dog lore, photos and a recipe. Illustrated with photos by the author.

My Review

Dermot and his mother live in a council house, which gives any school bullies plenty of material right there. Fortunately, Dermot has learnt to keep his head down, but it’s a lonely life as a result, with only one friend, who can’t be relied on. When he hears the dog next door scraping to get in her house for food and water, he wonders what’s going on.  It turns out that his neighbour has been taken into hospital, and there’s nobody to care for the dog. Can Dermot take her in, just for a while?

The way Ms O’Beara turns this situation around is an excellent lesson in finding good in the most difficult circumstances.  Small changes turn out to have big positive results, but this all comes across in no way preacherly. I did learn something about the Bible in the course of the funeral they attended, though.

add to goodreads buttonI think a Dog for Lockdown is even better than a Pony for Quarantine, in that it focuses on a thirteen year old finding himself. My only criticism is that it finished too soon!

Overall, both these books are excellent, helping us understand how Covid-19 restrictions affect people differently. Whatever our own experiences, it is good to see how other people cope.  It’s all very real, assisted by photos of Ireland in lockdown, too.

Irish Lockdown Stories by Clare O'Beara 'Two excellent books help us understand how Covid-19 restrictions affect people differently... it is good to see how other people cope.' #mglit #pets #covid-19 #ebook Share on X

Double Book Review | Irish Lockdown series by Clare O’Beara
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2 thoughts on “Double Book Review | Irish Lockdown series by Clare O’Beara

  • 16 October, 2020 at 11:10 pm

    Wow, that’s some quick work, to have two books on lockdown out six months in. Since it takes me a year and more per book, I’m impressed!

    • 19 October, 2020 at 10:27 pm

      Well, they are fairly easy-reader MG books, and Ireland went into proper lockdown the week before us, and kept their nerve (unlike our dimbo governmentm who felt it didn’t apply to them anyway). So I reckon getting them written by late May would be easily feasible for an author of Clare’s calibre!

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