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Extended Audio Sample Bog Child Audiobook, by Siobhan Dowd Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,504 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Siobhan Dowd Narrator: Sile Bermingham Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: July 2009 ISBN: 9780739385395
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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.


From the Hardcover edition. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “[Dowd] has an ear for dialect and an eye for detail that creates a powerful novel filled with tension, strife, and subtle humor.”

    VOYA

  • “An absorbing novel, with deep themes about human conflict, superstition, and the search for peace.”

    KLIATT

  • “Dowd raises questions about moral choices within a compelling plot that is full of surprises.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “A strong story that is rich in language, setting, and theme.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “This compelling read is lyrically written and contains authentic dialogue and challenging and involving moral issues.”

    School Library Journal (starred review)

  • “A haunting, suspenseful novel…A sense of doom, perfectly captured, and images of sacrifice hang over the well-developed characters, making this a painful and moving read. Pitch-perfect in capturing the often futile struggles for the many victims of Irish independence over the millennia.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews, July 15, 2008:
    "[A] painful and moving read."
  • Starred Review, School Library Journal, August 2008:
    "This compelling read is lyrically written and contains authentic dialogue and challenging and involving moral issues."
  • Starred Review, Booklist, August 1, 2008:
    "A strong story that is rich in language, setting, and theme."
  • Starred Review, Publishers Weekly, July 28, 2008:
    “Dowd raises questions about moral choices within a compelling plot that is full of surprises.”
  • Winner of the 2009 Carnegie Medal for Literature
  • A 2009 ALA Top Book for Young Adults
  • A 2009 Edgar Allan Poe Award Nominee for Best Young Adult Fiction

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Karen Arendt | 2/13/2014

    " Starred review from SLJ for the audio book. Got this from the library a few days ago. Just finished Al Capone Shines My Shoes, so now I can start this! Yeah! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Pat | 2/4/2014

    " The premise of this book was exciting: an ancient mummy of a child found in a peat bog; but the story is so United Kingdom, the language, the culture, that I just didn't feel like slogging through and deciphering or translating. I'm sure I missed out on a good story because of my laziness. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Colin | 2/2/2014

    " This was okay--a somewhat interesting historical novel about the Troubles, and the impact on the main character whose brother is a hunger stiker, with a dash of supernatural. I thought the age of the narrator, who was supposedly 18, was way off, though. He acted 14. Also the main narrative allegory with the discovered "bog child" seemed a bit strained in execution. Eh. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 elissa | 2/1/2014

    " 4 1/2 stars. This is another one that definitely would have gone on my 2008favorites shelf if I had read it last year. I love the intertwined stories and the strong emotions at the end. I love the connection between Owain, the soldier, and Deus, the bomb maker. I've never read another novel about Northern Ireland and the IRA in early 80's, and Dowd has written it so gorgeously, with magical realism thrown in. It took me 50 or so pages to get in to it, but then I couldn't put it down, and Fergus is a character that I'll be thinking about for a long time. This is my first book by Dowd, and it's so tragic that she's gone. I'm wondering now if all of her books have such emotional endings. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ellen | 1/21/2014

    " Set in the early 1980's during the Troubles, a teen whose brother is in jail and on a hunger strike, finds a body in a peat bog and must decide which side to take. A great read by an author whose life ended too early. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Alecia | 1/20/2014

    " This is a moving tale. It put me in a state of calm when I read it. I loved the main protagonist. There was a certain innocence about him that I liked. It has some important themes and deals with issues many readers can relate to. It was a great read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Marcia | 1/12/2014

    " So good! So sad! The writing is incredible. 1980 Ireland--hunger strikers, bombs, and a wonderful, thoughtful lad named Fergus who discovers a body in a peat bog. The story of Mel, the centuries old bog child is told simultaneously with Fergus'. Excellent sense of the time period and the troubles in Northern Ireland, seen from a teen's eyes. I was doubly sad to learn that the author, Siobhan Dowd died from breast cancer in 2007. Her books have really captivated me. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sally | 1/12/2014

    " Great YA read. Laugh out loud in places. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kristy | 12/22/2013

    " Had me intrigued from beginning to end. There are two parts to the story, the Troubles in Ireland in the 1980s and the discovery of a child's body in a bog. Beautifully written. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 R | 11/29/2013

    " There are a lot of different plots going on, so they kind of compete for your attention. And some are more interesting than others. I don't know how I feel about the ethical choice at the end, but the book is atmospheric and creepy and mysterious, so it's got that going for it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 sisterimapoet | 11/18/2013

    " A good story, possible a bit predictable in places. But still enough content for an adult reader to enjoy. I like the way history past and present is considered. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Guy | 6/26/2013

    " Nog een jeugdroman, maar wel van een klasse hoger. Geslaagde combinatie van politiek drama, coming of age-roman, met wat elementen uit misdaadliteratuur. Leest als een trein en maakt indruk. (***1/2) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sharon | 10/16/2012

    " Not one of my favorites even though I normally love historical fiction. I am not sure a lot of YAs will enjoy this. I am anxious to see what the kids at my school think--maybe I will be totally surprised! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Charlotte | 9/27/2012

    " Although this book had afew good ideas, it was a bit strange. I did enjoy the little dreams/stories throughout where he imagines what the Mel's life would have been like. Shame about what happened to her though... overall good, but a bit boring at times. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Anita Prince | 4/18/2012

    " Fergus lives in Northern Ireland during the 1980's, a time of political unrest and violence. While gathering peat with his uncle, he discovers the bog child. Who was the child and how did she come to be buried there? Her story is interwoven with Fergus' as he wrestles to make sense of his own life. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shellie Rich | 4/3/2012

    " Great and likable characters draw us into a lesson in our own history, in a way. The period and culture are fascinating and the fictional events in the book are quite believable. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Taylor overman | 3/23/2012

    " wierd book started never finish it:\ kinda creeped me out so,stopped it i had a night mare of this i was despair while i was reading it first two pages annd thats it! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Dawn Trlak-Donahue | 3/16/2012

    " The language was a bit too flowery for my taste. Also, the author attempted to intertwine several events (finding a preserved corpse from AD80 and an IRA hunger strike in jail, along with the life of a teenage boy. For me, it just didn't work. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 T | 5/20/2011

    " ridiculous choice for a jr hi reading list. tons of swearing, (Jesus, Christ), teenage sex, birth control pills. Set in the 80's in Ireland. Really boring in the beginning - only the ending was interesting. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kristy | 5/10/2011

    " Had me intrigued from beginning to end. There are two parts to the story, the Troubles in Ireland in the 1980s and the discovery of a child's body in a bog. Beautifully written. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Miranda | 5/10/2011

    " 3.5 stars. She definitely has her own voice for her writing. It was different. I enjoyed the double story as they tried to look at the body and evaluate the evidence. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Trish | 4/17/2011

    " A book I have recommended for all school libraries. An insightful look at youth angst in young love, plus societal pressures. Set against the backdrop of the hunger strikes in Ireland. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Laura | 3/27/2011

    " Worth reading. Historical Ireland 500 AD story woven together with war torn Belfast 1980 plus a character you really care about makes engrossing reading. Some Language. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sheneise | 2/21/2011

    " This is a moving tale. It put me in a state of calm when I read it. I loved the main protagonist. There was a certain innocence about him that I liked. It has some important themes and deals with issues many readers can relate to. It was a great read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Elizabeth | 1/24/2011

    " First I'm on an Irish kick right now so this fit perfectly in my life. Second, it maybe in the YA area but I think it should not be ignored by adult readers. Plus the main character is a runner. All good things. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Charlotte | 12/18/2010

    " Although this book had afew good ideas, it was a bit strange. I did enjoy the little dreams/stories throughout where he imagines what the Mel's life would have been like. Shame about what happened to her though... overall good, but a bit boring at times. "

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About the Author
Author Siobhan DowdSiobhan 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. All royalties from her books go to the Siobhan Dowd Trust, a charity set up to support the joy of reading for disadvantaged young people. Look for Bog Child also available from Listening Library.
About the Narrator

Sile Bermingham began her acting career in theater in her native Dublin before moving to New York to attend HB Studios. Theater credits include Loot, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolfe, Remembrance, A Touch of the Poet, A Woman of No Importance, and Crimes and Crimes, among many others. An avid reader and lover of stories, Sile has read the works of Maeve Binchy, Cecilia Ahern, and Joanne Harris.