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The Blue Horse by Marita Conlon-McKenna

Reviewed by Kilmihil Children’s Book Club

Katie Connors is a traveller. She travels round Ireland with her mother, father, brothers Tom, twins Brian and Paddy, sister Hannah and baby brother Davey. The story begins with the Connors family coming to join their cousins on a new site.

Katie makes friends with Francis Maguire and his grandmother, and is enjoying the summer, until one morning Francis and Nana Maguire move on. One evening when her parents are out of the caravan, it goes on fire and Katie and the children are lucky to escape with their lives. They haven’t money for a new trailer and her mother decides that they have to go into a house. Katie’s father is very unhappy with the decision and goes his own way.

Katie, her mother, and the rest of the family move into their house. While some people are kind to them, some just don’t want travellers living next to them.

The Connors family are subject to a lot of discrimination and bullying, living in the new town and going to school. Katie and her brother are picked on and jeered in school and a hairdresser refuses to cut Katie’s hair, because she’s a traveller.
However, some people were kind and accepting of the different culture. The Connors next door neighbour is very kind to Katie’s mother and Katie does make a new friend in school.

All the children in the Kilmihil Book Club enjoyed this book. While it was sometimes a sad story, they thought it a very interesting story and gave it an impressive 8 out of 10.

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