The Irish Civil War 1922-1923: Ava’s Diary

The Irish Civil War was an extremely violent period of Irish History, one full of bloodshed, carnage and fighting between sisters and brothers. Ava is experiencing a time of turmoil in her own life nowadays, and this is recorded through her diary. One day she and her mysterious friend Mal discover a treasure trove of old diary entries from a girl named Molly in the attic of their flats. Together they go on a journey that takes them beyond Ireland, and sees them mature alongside the characters they are discovering from 1922.

Murphy transforms a huge amount of complicated history into a challenging and rewarding read. Careful use of a shady antagonist and clues about the possibly undesirable behaviour of Molly’s sidekick will keep any reader engaged and hungry for the next chapter. At times the chapters were extremely long which younger or less able readers may struggle with. This book could work well as a before-bed reader for child and parent, and would make imparting some of the history of the Irish Civil War a manageable task for those with little previous knowledge.

This book is an empowering read for young teens which brings home the importance of team work, friendship and family above all else.