Ballywhinney Girl

by Eve Bunting and Emily Arnold McCully

Young Maeve and her Grandpa are out cutting peat when he finds a child’s body.... read more

Young Maeve and her Grandpa are out cutting peat when he finds a child’s body. The Ballywhinney police arrive, but soon send to Dublin for an archaeology team. It turns out to the mummified body of a bog child—perhaps 1,000 years old. Maeve wonders what the Ballywhinney Girl’s life might have been like even as she follows the stories on the news, and then visits the museum in Dublin where the mummy is on display. The sight makes Maeve sad. For her those bones belonged to a real girl who lived and died, and putting her on display in a cold glass case seems a far less comforting resting place than the peat bog where she was found. Maeve wonders aloud if the girl is glad to be released from the bog. Her dad answers that she’s “dead and gone. The dead don’t know or care.” Empathetic Maeve cares, and she imagines the girl from long ago walking through the bog. Pen and ink and watercolor illustrations visually differentiate contemporary scenes from the misty pages of an imagined past. An informative afterword describes the bogs of Ireland and the mummified bodies that have been found there. (Ages 7–10)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2013

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