A Greyhound of a Girl by Roddy Doyle

A Greyhound of a Girl

byRoddy Doyle

Kobo ebook | May 1, 2012

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Mary O’Hara is a sharp and cheeky 12-year-old Dublin schoolgirl who is bravely facing the fact that her beloved Granny is dying. But Granny can’t let go of life, and when a mysterious young woman turns up in Mary’s street with a message for her Granny, Mary gets pulled into an unlikely adventure. The woman is the ghost of Granny’s own mother, who has come to help her daughter say good-bye to her loved ones and guide her safely out of this world. She needs the help of Mary and her mother, Scarlett, who embark on a road trip to the past. Four generations of women travel on a midnight car journey. One of them is dead, one of them is dying, one of them is driving, and one of them is just starting out.

Praise for A Greyhound of a Girl


A warm, witty, exquisitely nuanced multigenerational story.”
Kirkus Reviews, starred review


This elegantly constructed yet beautifully simple story, set in Ireland and spun with affection by Booker Prize winner Doyle, will be something different for YA readers. These four lilting voices will linger long after the book is closed.”
Booklist, starred review

"Written mostly in dialogue, at which Doyle excels, and populated with a charming foursome of Irish women, this lovely tale is as much about overcoming the fear of death as it is about death itself."
Publishers Weekly, starred review

"In this moving and artfully structured ghost tale, four generations of Irish women come together. A big part of the pleasure here is the rhythm of the language and the contrasting voices of the generations. Any opportunity to read it aloud would be a treat."
Horn Book

"For children grieving the death of a parent or grandparent, this book provides comfort."
Library Media Connection

Capitol Choices 2013 - Noteworthy Titles for Children and Teens
Cooperative Children’s Book Center (CCBC) Choices 2013 list - Young Adult Fiction
USBBY Outstanding International Books List 2013


Title:A Greyhound of a GirlFormat:Kobo ebookPublished:May 1, 2012Publisher:AbramsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:161312418X

ISBN - 13:9781613124185

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Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great read! A book written for children and dealing with grief. Mary O'Hara, the pre-teen daughter claims to seen her great-grandmother, who is deceased. Tansey, who died tragically young, wants to speak to her own daughter (Mary's wise-cracking grandmother Emer, who is near to death in hospital) and needs the help of Mary and her mother Scarlett.
Date published: 2012-03-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Touching, Heartwarming Book I have loved Roddy Doyle's work from the time I first saw The Commitments as a teenager. After watching the movie, I tracked down many of his books and raced through them. Recently, I found The Rover Adventures and read them to my kids (these are hilarious, you can read my review here). Needless to say, when I had the opportunity to read his latest book, A Greyhound of a Girl, I jumped at it even before I knew what it was about. This is the story of four women, Mary, her mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. Mr. Doyle weaves their stories together in a sensitive and touching way. Even though Mary's grandmother is dying, this story is not morbid. She is scared of dying and the ghost of her own mother appears to help her. It really is lovely storytelling and leaves the reader with a sense that everything is grand. In one scene, Mary's mother is talking to the ghost of her grandmother, saying how she'll miss her mother (Emer) when she is gone: "When you want to see your mother, look at your own face in the mirror," she said. "Or look at Mary's face. Or Mary's daughter's face. Emer will be in there. You'll see. And so will I. And so will you. And so will Mary." (p. 190-191) I was taken with the book right from the first pages. Mr. Doyle has a way with language and phrasing that always draws me in. His descriptions captured me right away and he sets up a fun, mysterious start to the book. I also love how Mr. Doyle weaves the stories of the four lives together. There is also a quirky humour throughout the book. Here's one of the passages that made me laugh out loud: She got out the way while Mary whisked the eggs. Mary's hand was a blur, and specks of egg yolk were hitting the wall, like yellow flies committing suicide. (p. 15) Fans of Irish storytelling will enjoy this book. What could be a scary or maudlin book is funny and normal and honours the lives that have passed. Middle school and young adult readers who like sensitive stories will enjoy this, or it would be a great one to read out loud. Disclosure: I received this book from NetGalley for review.
Date published: 2012-02-13