Title: The Ghost of Grania O'Malley
Author: Michael Morpugo
Genres: Middle Grade, Fantasy
Paperback, 213 pages
Published September 1st 2001 by Egmont (first published April 1st 1996)
Shorlisted for Nasen Special Educational Needs Book Award
There is a gold in the Big Hill on Clare Island. It would make many of the islanders rich. But to claim it would mean destroying the hill for ever. Jessie Parsons and her American cousin, Jack, can't bear this to happen. The big hill is the heart f island, special, beautiful, the perfect place. Can they save it before it;s too late? Not on their own, maybe. But they have a secret ally ... the ghost of Grania O'Malley.
Jessie and Jack are only children. They don't know anything about gold and gold mine until all adult people, include Jessie's mother and father talk about it everywhere and everytime. There is a Big Hill in Clare Island where Jessie and her parents live. The fact is gold is hidden in somewhere inside that hill. It makes Michael Murphy, a richest man in Clare Island and ex-fiance of Jessie's mother, has an idea to dig up the hill and take gold. He makes people of the island agree with him, except Jessie's mother and Mister Barney.
For being time, in school, Jessie and Jack's friends are for gold mine too. Meaning it makes Marion Murphy (daughter or Michael Murphy) brags about anything of hers. Cause of anger (mostly cause Marion and even Jessie's teacher, Mrs. Burke talk bad about her mother who refuse that gold mine plan), she thinks to help her mother. Then she climbs up to the Big Hill at second time with his cousin. Partly to prove to Jack that she really can climb up there and partly to think about the way to save the Big Hill. There they see Grania O'Malley at the first time. And since then, they set plan to plan for the Big Hill.
I like how Jessie and Jack try to help saving the Big Hill. I like to be met Grania O'Malley in this story. It's nice to know her.
When you've got tired of doing much effort, just still and let God do the rest
Once Jessie feels sad cause her mom lost her vote. It means the islanders with Michael Murphy as the leader will dig the hill up. Her mother has done what she has to do and she herself also help what she can do (to counter any bad talk about her mom in school). Not know what to do she feels desperate for her mom. Then she just closes her eyes that night when a voice of Grania O'Malley whispers in her head again.
"Just you go to sleep now. and let tomorrow take care itself. It always does." (p. 58)
Happiness is not always come from richness
Most people think rich can make you happy. The obvious thing to make you rich is money. But many things also prove that money cannot bring you a real richness and happiness. Through this story, Morpugo tries to send his message about what a worth it thing to make you happy and rich.
The Big Hill represents heart of human. Gold inside the Big Hill represents kindness of him. So if you dig and take your kindness and exchange it with money to buy many plush things, it will be dangerous for you. Let the gold stay in its place. Let your kindness stays in your heart so that you can uses it for the right things and makes it feels something good that make you happy.
"All you get from gold is money. Money sure makes you rich, but rich doesn't make you happy." (p. 67)
This book is absolutely good for middle-age children. It's obviously contain rich message to think of. So I recommend this book for children and those who want to get good things from it.
This review is counted in FYE Child Lit #5 by Bzee, New Author and What's in a Name RC by Ren, and English Book RC by Bunda Peni.
P.S. About Grania O'Malley
|Grania O'Malley statue|
Grace O'Malley (c. 1530 – c. 1603; also Gráinne O'Malley, Irish: Gráinne Ní Mháille) was Queen of Umaill, chieftain of the Ó Máille clan following in the footsteps of her father Eoghan Dubhdara Ó Máille. Upon his death, she inherited his large shipping and trading business (sometimes accused of being a piracy trade). The income from this business, the land inherited from her mother, and the property and holdings from here first husband, Dónal an Chogaidh Ó Flaithbheartaigh, allowed her to become very wealthy (reportedly owning as much as 1000 head of cattle and horses). In 1593, when her sons, Tibbot Burke and Murrough O'Flaherty, and her half-brother, Donal-na-Piopa, were taken captive by the English governor of Connacht, Sir Richard Bingham, O'Malley sailed to England to petition Elizabeth I for their release. She formerly presented her request to Elizabeth at her court in Greenwich Palace. (wikipedia)