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- Publisher: O'Brien Press Ltd
- Format: Paperback | 224 pages
- Dimensions: 130mm x 194mm x 22mm | 180g
- Publication date: 1 October 2000
- Publication City/Country: Dublin
- ISBN 10: 0862786436
- ISBN 13: 9780862786434
- Sales rank: 181,498
Karl and Rosa's family watch in horror as Hitler's troops parade down the streets of their home city - Vienna. It has become very dangerous to be a Jew in Austria, and after their uncle is sent to Dachau, Karl and Rosa's parents decide to send the children out of the country on a Kindertransport, one of the many ships carrying refugee children away from Nazi danger. Isolated and homesick, Karl ends up in Millisle, a run-down farm in Ards in Northern Ireland, which has become a Jewish refugee centre, while Rosa is fostered by a local family. Hard work on the farm keeps Karl occupied, although he still waits desperately for any news from home. Then he makes friends with locals Peewee and Wee Billy, and also with the girls from neutral Dublin who come to help on the farm, especially Judy. But Northern Ireland is in the war too, with rationing and air-raid warnings, and, in April 1941 the bombs of the Belfast Blitz bring the reality of war right to their doorstep. And for Karl and Rosa and the other refugees there is the constant fear that they may never see their parents again. Based on a true story - there was a refugee farm at Millisle and among its occupants was a young boy called Karl.
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Marilyn Taylor was born and educated in England, and has an economics degree from London University. She was a school librarian in a Dublin secondary school for 16 years and a college librarian. Her first novels for young adults were the Jackie and Kev trilogy, Could This Be Love, I Wondered? (1994), Could I Love a Stranger? and Call Yourself a Friend?. Faraway Home was a new departure for Marilyn, having a strong historical basis and being set in Northern Ireland during the Second World War. It won the prestigious Bisto Book of the Year Award and was followed by 17 Martin Street, set in Dublin during The Emergency (as the Second World War was knows in Ireland). Both have been hugely popular with schools throughout Ireland and beyond.
'The main characters are appealing, and the setting is intriguing in this well-researched novel by an Irish author. The real strength of the book, however, lies in its realistic portrayal of Karl's feelings and of the friendships he makes in his new surroundings.' -- Booklist (USA) 'It's a gripping read.' -- Northside People 'an absorbing new book from Marilyn Taylor ... a remarkable blend of fiction and historical fact, which also reveals a relatively unknown facet of World War Two.' -- Pauline Devine - The Irish Times The Irish Times 'Based on the Dublin author's research into the real Jewish refugee farm in Millisle set up during the war, the book is a moving story of courage, prejudice and the ability of young people to cope with the most difficult challeges.' -- Karen Quinn - NewsLetter The Newsletter 'sensitively unfolds a touching story of the anguish suffered by Jewish refugee chidren sent to a farm in County Down during the Second World War. The pathos, suffering and bravery are overwhelming. But for me, it is Taylor's skill in building three-dimensional characters which makes this book so outstanding. This is a story which stays with the reader, long after the final page has been turned.' -- Children's Books in Ireland Children's Books in Ireland 'It seems to me that one of the most important elements of successful writing for modern teenagers is respect for the readers. To show that respect my golden rules are, first, not to preach at them; second, not to underestimate them; and, third, to make sure that what they are being offered is as accurate, authentic and as true as it can be. And for the latter, research, though not the whole story, is the key.' -- The author writing in Children's Books in Ireland 'Every young adult should read this book. It is history, written with the gripping reality of fiction. It is a story which, like Anne Frank's diary, brings home to us all the horrific misery inflicted by the Nazis -- and the need to ensure that we never allow it to happen again.' -- Lord Janner, QC, Holocaust Educational Trust 'It conveys brilliantly the insecurities of children in a refugee situation, charts an interesting aspect of Irish history and provides sharp insights into the difficulties facing refugees.' -- Anglo Celt Anglo Celt Newspaper 'by far the most successful fictional interpretation of the kindertransports. A very well constructed and beautifully written narrative. While this book is suitable for the lower secondary years, it has proved to have much impact on home older juniors in England.' -- The School Librarian The School Librarian 'Unflinchingly honest but radiating a belief in basic human decency, [Marilyn Taylor's books] make for an illuminating read for adults and kids alike.' -- Irish Independent 'Taylor handles the many story threads skillfully, pulling them together in a satisfying way as the story concludes ... compelling' -- booklistonline