Brian Conaghan

Author Headshot - Brian Conaghan

Brian Conaghan was born and raised in the Scottish town of Coatbridge but now lives in Dublin. He has a Master of Letters in Creative Writing from the University of Glasgow. For many years Brian worked as a teacher and taught in Scotland, Italy and Ireland. His first YA novel for Bloomsbury, When Mr Dog Bites, was shortlisted for the 2015 Carnegie Medal, and his second, The Bombs That Brought Us Together, won the 2016 Costa Children's Book Award. We Come Apart, a verse novel co-authored with Carnegie Medal winner Sarah Crossan, won the 2018 UKLA Book Award, and his fourth novel, The Weight of a Thousand Feathers, won the 2018 Irish Book Award for Teen & Young Adult Book of the Year.

Book Cover - Treacle Town

Treacle Town

‘Although sometimes I think that people like us are always alone in this world. Hidden away and stuck inside our Treacle Towns. Unequal and unrecognised.’ Con O’Neill, the protagonist of this novel reflects on life in his community, a so called ‘Treacle Town,’ where nobody can ever seem to leave, stuck in the roles imposed upon them by the people around them.

Book Cover - Swimming on the Moon

Swimming on the Moon

Even though Anna’s parents are going through an undeniably rough patch, the stubborn twelve-year-old is utterly determined to make them stay together – there’s no way she’s letting them split up! Especially if that means there might be even the smallest possibility of having to live apart from her twin brother, Anto. He might be a boy and he might use Lego bricks to speak but he’s the best thing in Anna’s world and she’s not about to let him go without a fight. Nobody comes between her and her twin.

Book Cover - We Come Apart

We Come Apart

We Come Apart, a collaborative project between Crossan and Conaghan, is a three-part novel written in alternating voices. The text is in a fractured format, which will be familiar to Crossan’s fans. As you would expect from writers at the top of their game, it seizes the reader’s attention from the first page.

Book Cover - The M Word

The M Word

Maggie’s mum is having a hard time. Having recently lost her job, she has taken to staying in the house with the curtains closed all day. Maggie feels the weight of her mum’s sadness and is convinced that she can find a way to cheer her mum up. This mission would be easier if Maggie wasn’t already juggling some very heavy struggles of her own.

Book Cover - Cardboard Cowboys

Cardboard Cowboys

Cardboard Cowboys tells the story of Lenny Lambert, a troubled but kind-hearted boy in his first year of secondary school in Scotland. Lenny is having a hard time in school: his classmates make fun of him because of his weight and he is struggling with the absence of his brother, Frankie. His parents refuse to speak about Frankie, and Lenny feels intense guilt over the situation (which we are not told about for the majority of the book) and finds himself feeling increasingly isolated – from his school, his parents and Frankie himself.

Book Cover - The Weight of a Thousand Feathers

The Weight of a Thousand Feathers

Life is arduous and complex for Bobby, the novel’s seventeen-year-old narrator. His mother, Anne, is dying from MS and he is her carer, in addition to looking after his younger brother who has intellectual difficulties. Bobby’s best ‘pal’ Bel, reminiscent of the superbly indomitable Michelle Malloy in Conaghan’s novel When Mr Dog Bites, hopes that their relationship can develop. Bobby, however, is gay and attracted to Lou, an American from the support group for young carers they both attend.