Celebrating Irish Children’s Books | Online School and Family Book Festival. This year we are part of the Dublin Book Festival.

The Boldness of Betty: A 1913 Dublin Lockout Novel

Dublin 1913

My name is Betty Rafferty. A few weeks ago I had to leave school and go out to work in a cake shop, serving fancy cakes to rude, rich people. No choice.

But since then so much has happened. It all started when old Miss Warby took our pay away. And we walked out!

The whole city – well, all us union members – are going out on strike. Even my dog Earnshaw has joined in!

Life on the picket line in the lashing rain isn’t much fun. Lots of people, like Peter Lawlor, just don’t understand how unfair everything is. But we workers have to stand together – no matter what!

“Told in Bettys’ own voice as she reaches towards her dream of being a writer, beginning with this memoir, a fascinating picture of life during the Dublin Lockout emerges with insight and feeling. While this is a work of fiction, it has a vision of historical accuracy woven through its’ strands. The portrayal of Betty and her family and friends rings true against this background with all its’ hardships, hopes and dreams and is highly relatable even today. All the confusion and determination of young adult life is relayed in genuine voice. The plot builds steadily with perfect flow, taking us from drama to crisis to resolution and back again. And it is an intriguing read; full of life, heart and reality. An absolutely marvelous book!”

Fallen Star Stories

“Carey’s lightness of touch means that descriptions of police brutality towards workers, or the hypocritical actions of Catholic pressure groups, are all the more shocking. ‘You can learn a lot from a story,’ Betty notes, talking to – rather than down to – the young/pre-teen audience for this compelling, satisfying book’ …’endearing, Adrian Mole-esque”

Irish Times



Lauren O'Neill


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