Category Archives: CHILDREN’S STORIES

Happy Christmas

I would like to thank everyone who visited this site and bought books throughout the year.  I hope you all have a very Happy Christmas and that all your dreams come true in the New Year.

christmas stories. Image of santa

For those of you who have been waiting patiently for Father Christmas – a little bird told me he was on his way, so watch out…

christmas stories.

 

For a brand new Christmas story from Ballyyahoo click here, or on the Christmas stockings below.

CHRISTMASCARDBALLYYAHOOSTOCKINGSONTREE

 

Christmas In Ballyyahoo

CHRISTMAS IN BALLYYAHOO – SECRET AND  SPECIAL 

Ballyyahoo is Ireland’s best-kept secret. A town so tiny, and so magical that only the people who live there, know exactly where it is.

Christmas in Ballyyahoo, Image of ballyyhoo

Christmas in Ballyyahoo is always special but this year it was set to be the best one ever. At least it was, until a very strange Santa and an even stranger Rudolph turned up on Christmas Eve and stole all the presents away!

DESPERATELY SEEKING SANTA

It’s up to two boys, Kevin and Gerry, to save Christmas. The boys set off on their bikes, desperately seeking Santa, but when they get lost in the woods near the terrible town of Ballyuseless, Kevin and Gerry begin to wish they’d stayed at home.

Things get worse when they catch up with Santa and Rudolph and find out that they are real villains, the kind of villains that make ordinary villains seem nice. The two baddies have absolutely no intention of doing anything good, never mind returning the presents they stole from Ballyyahoo.

Christmas in Ballyyahoo. Image of santa-and-rudolph in BALLYYAHOO-

SAVE GERRY AND KEVIN

Soon disaster strikes and the two boys find themselves locked in a box, on a boat, in the middle of the Irish Sea. There’s only one person that can help them and that’s the wonderful Witch of Ballyyahoo, but can she come? Or is she too busy having fun? And will she find and rescue Kevin and Gerry before the wicked Santa and even wickeder Rudolph carry out their dastardly plan?

There are more original stories for children here.

KINDLE BOOKS 9-12 years old

KINDLE BOOKS FOR 9 TO 12 YEAR OLDS WHO LOVE TO READ.

kindle-books-for-9-12-years-olds. Image of a ladybird

FREE AS A LADYBIRD

A warm story about families, freedom and fun!

‘Free As A Ladybird’ is about Natasha, a girl who is torn between a Granny who runs away to become a travelling bodhran player and jellyfish collector, and her Mother who wants Granny to stay home and act like a proper Granny.  It isn’t easy for kids when they’re stuck in between two adults fighting, especially when both sides might just be right and might just be wrong.

kindle-books-for-9-12-years-olds. Image of  a tree

THE TREE HUGGER

A true to life story about bullying.

Bullying is bad enough but what about those who watch and do nothing?

In ‘The Tree Hugger,’ Debbie wants to keep in with the cool crowd in school. But, she has to decide whether to risk getting bullied by sticking up for new girl, Shalmalah, the most uncool girl she’s ever met, or to leave her to the mercy of cool-school bullies.

kindle-books-for-9-12-years-olds. Image of a football

FOOTBALL CRAZY

A story about love, loss and football!

For this family football isn’t just about the game – it’s their excuse for getting together, playing together, having fun together and even just being together!

‘Football Crazy’ is a funny story tinged with sadness about football fanatic, Jimmy, whose football loving family stop playing football and going to matches when something terrible happens to Grandad. It’s up to Jimmy to get the family back in the game again.

kindle-books-for-9-12-years-olds. Image of a football

FOOTBALL MAD

A funny contemporary story about a family that forgets to make time – to be a family.

‘Football Mad’ is about Shane, who lives for football and desperately wants to get a place on the football team. However, his coach thinks a one-legged-nun would make a better footballer than him, so Shane needs his parents help but they just want to read books, so Shane is forced to take desperate measures. Will Shane Cooney be the next Wayne Rooney?

If you would like to see all my books you can visit my author page here. 

Enjoy your reading.

Grace

 

 

 

 

KINDLE BOOKS ABOUT BALLYYAHOO

KINDLE BOOKS ABOUT BALLYYAHOO

From the Another Little Book From Ballyyahoo series

For families who love to read!

kindle books

THE REAL HALLOWEEN

The real Halloween is a ghostly, Halloween story for kids, set in the tiny

town of Ballyyahoo in Ireland.

Sean thinks he’s not afraid of anything, not even ghosts, or ghouls at Halloween! In fact Sean loves ghost stories and horror stories so much that the reads them by torch-light in bed.

Then one Halloween night his mother catches him and takes away his favourite horror story book. Sean runs away to his Grandad’s house. He’s not afraid, even though it’s dark, and even though there is’t a single street lights in the tiny town of Ballyyahoo.

But then Sean’s Grandad tells him a story he’s never heard before, the story of the real Halloween, a true story, and the scariest story Sean has ever heard and what’s more Sean’s Grandad swears the story is true!

THE WITCH OF BALLYYAHOO

The Witch Of Ballyyahoo is a funny story about two bored boys, one bored policeman, one bored donkey, one dangerous mad-man and one very busy witch.

Since there’s not a lot else to do, most Ballyyahooians love to make up stories. That means there are always lot of juicy rumours and scandals going around. But when Gerry hears the rumour of the Witch of Ballyyahoo, he starts to wonder. Could it really be just a rumour? Or could the rumour be true?

Most Ballyyahooinans say that you shouldn’t spoil a good rumour with the truth, but Gerry begins to see some strange goings on in the quiet lanes of Ballyyahoo, and soon he learns that a crime is going to happen.

It is not the type of crime that usually happens in Ballyyahoo – nothing to do with donkeys, lights, or hazelnuts. No, it’s a terrifying crime that starts with a big knife, a big burglar, and that might just end in murder. Gerry desperately tries to stop this crime from happening, but he realizes he’s all alone. If anyone ever needed a witch in Ballyyahoo, it was now. But is there really any truth in the rumour of The Witch Of Ballyyahoo?

THE LITTLE BOOK OF SWINGING ON A GATE

Especially for kids everywhere who are bored being bored.

Gerry Mac lives in the tiny village of Ballyyahoo in the west of Ireland. He’s very lucky that he loves swinging on a gate because he can’t find anything else to do. He is so bored; he’s bored with being bored.

Gerry Mac doesn’t like it when grown ups get ideas because they usually involve him getting off the gate and doing some work, so when his mother gets the idea to make him do a hard day’s digging in old Paddy Plant’s garden it’s no wonder Gerry wants to run away.

BONKERS IN BALLYYAHOO

Take one computer, add one bored boy and you’ve got mischief, chaos and lots of fun in the tiny town of Ballyyahoo

 

‘Bonkers In Ballyyahoo’ is a fun story that introduces Gerry Mac and his cousin, Kevin, two boys who live in the tiny Irish town of Ballyyahoo.

Ballyyahoo is a great place to live, but some kids like Gerry and Kevin, get bored with dangerous donkeys, mad cows and secret beaches and they look for more mischievous things to do.

When Kevin gets a computer he is supposed to be learning how to improve his school work but Kevin’s more interested in learning how to create chaos and before long he’s spreading madness and mayhem around the town and everyone’s gone bonkers in Ballyyahoo.

 

 

 

 

ABOUT LADYBIRDS

LADYBIRDS OR LADYBUGS

Ladybirds - Image of a ladybird on a leaf

I am often asked why ladybirds feature in my stories.  Not just in ‘Free As A Ladybird’ I have also had them fluttering around some of my other stories as well. I even made a Ladybird image in a stained glass workshop I attended recently which you can see below:

ladybirds Image of a ladybird in stained glass
Ladybird in Stained Glass

The simple answer is that I just love ladybirds and I always have. I love their bright beauty and I love they way they can suddenly open their backs and rise up into their air like little red helicopters.

Ladybirds - Image of a ladybird on a leaf

It doesn’t matter what else is happening in the world, or in my life, the first sight of a ladybird in summer always gives me a feeling of joy.

Ladybirds - Image of a ladybird on a leaf

I very much enjoy gardening so I am always happy to see Ladybirds around my plants. Here’s one just arrived to help out in my vegetable garden.

ladybird. Image of ladybird on a stick
Ladybird climbing a stick

You see Ladybirds don’t just look pretty; they do important jobs in the garden. They eat aphids and other tiny creatures that would otherwise be feasting on our plants.

Ladybirds are known as Ladybugs in the US but they have another name – Coccinellidea. They come from the small beetle family and can be red, yellow, or orange, although there can be other colours too. There is more information here on Wikipedia.

Ladybirds - Image of a ladybird on a leaf

Here in Ireland we mostly see the red variety like the ones on this biodiversity website.

I hope you like Ladybirds/Ladybugs as much as I do! If you do you can find out about my story Free As A Ladybird,’ here.

If you like arts and crafts you might enjoy learning how to turn a stone into a Ladybird.

Ladybirds - Image of a ladybird on a leaf

THE TREE HUGGER

little girl reading a bookStories for children can serve two purposes. First, they can entertain by telling a good story, one with great characters and a plot that keeps you interested, wondering and guessing just how the story will end.

Secondly, stories can do all the above but they can also help children with problems by raising topics for discussion and learning. I wrote ‘The Tree Hugger ‘ with both these purposes foremost in my mind.

Personally speaking, having been bullied in the past myself, I have always wanted to write stories that just might help prevent bullying, or help a child or parent cope with the effects of bullying.

‘The Tree Hugger’ was initially broadcast as part of a children’s radio show called Fiction Fifteen on RTE, national radio here in Ireland. It had a great response and as a result ‘The Tree Hugger’ was broadcast twice. Parents who have read the story with their children have told me they found it a great way to open up a difficult subject for discussion.

Stories for children often engage with the theme of bullying but this story also looks at the difficult choices and moral dilemma thrust upon children who witness bullying. Seeing bullying going on and being powerless to prevent it happening can have adverse affects on our self-confidence.

As a writer and a mother I also feel it is important to develop strong, bright female characters. Females who are not afraid to choose how they look or how they behave. The following synopsis provides parents with insight into the characters and story themes explored in the story.

THE TREE HUGGER

Everyone’s scared of Susan and Leonie because they’re the school bullies. They decide who is ‘in’ and who’s ‘out.’ Debbie is just as scared of the bullies as everyone else because Debbie’s ‘in’ and Debbie wants to stay ‘in.

New girl, Shalmalah is definitely ‘out. ’ She doesn’t do her hair right or wear the right clothes. Another thing that makes Shalmalah different is that she doesn’t care what the bullies think and doesn’t see why she should change to suit them.

Susan and Leonie want to make her care and they do their best to make Shalmalah’s life hell. They pick on her all the time, spread nasty rumours about her and stop the other girls speaking to her. Soon Shalmalah is isolated and alone.

Debbie feels sorry for Shalmalah but she also thinks that if Shalmalah tried harder to be the same as everyone else Susan and Leonie would leave her alone. Shalmalah doesn’t want to be like everybody else – she wants to be herself.

Debbie doesn’t like seeing Shalmalah getting bullied but she knows that with Susan and Leonie, you’re either with them, or against them. Debbie doesn’t want to be the next person they start picking on either. Shalmalah knows too well that once the bullies have decided that you are ‘out’ then you are on your own.

One day, Debbie finds out that Shalmalah’s mother and her own mother are becoming friends and she has to be nice to Shalmalah at home. Debbie hates feeling so two-faced and soon she has to make a very difficult choice.

ABOUT FOOTBALL CRAZY

‘Football Crazy’ – a story about life, love and death as seen through the eyes of a boy crazy about football.

Children’s stories can be helpful in providing ways for parents to discuss difficult subjects with their children. It’s never easy for loving parents to approach the subject of death with their children.  Understandably some parents avoid the subject all together – yet loss is a sad but inevitable part of life.

When we avoid or distract a child from a subject that is worrying them we are closing off an opportunity for growth. Some subjects are too difficult or painful to discuss, particularly when we are in mourning ourselves.

When a mother or father is grieving following the death of their own parent their children can be experiencing confusion as well as sadness and loss. A loved one is gone. Questions arise – where have they gone? Will they ever see them again? Will our family ever be happy and have fun, like we used to?

KIND RELATIVES

Sometimes, other kind relatives tell children stories about where the dead person may have gone to. These stories can differ from ‘Granny’ is an angel looking down from heaven – to ‘Granny has gone for a long restful sleep because she was tired.’

 DIFFERENT CULTURES

The stories we use to tell children about death vary from culture to culture, religion to religion, but what doesn’t vary is the fact that when a loved one dies they leave a space in the family where they used to be.

One child described a ‘granny shaped hole in the house.’ Others talk about the ‘empty chair nobody ever wants to sit on.’

‘Football Crazy’ is about this empty space in the family. In this story it is the Grandfather who dies. This wonderful, loving football crazy granddad had been a huge part of this football loving family and without him they don’t enjoy football any more. children's stories - image of a footballAs a family they learn to accept the loss gradually and together they find a way to enjoy their lives again while always remembering their wonderful, football crazy granddad.

 TO READ MY PERSONAL NOTES ON WRITING FOOTBALL CRAZY PLEASE CLICK HERE

 

FOOTBALL CRAZY

sad-boy with footballFootball Crazy is a family story that isn’t just about football. It’s really about life, death and love. Writing this story was a very special task for me.  I wanted to write a story for the whole family as opposed to a story solely aimed at children and I knew that a family story, especially one that deals with a family crisis, should appeal to parents as well as children.

I felt that the best way to achieve this was through a story about a ‘normal’ family dealing with a family crisis. So the adults in my family story have faults and failings while still always trying to do best by their children. Just like real parents.

footballIn ‘Football Crazy’ the crisis is the death of a grandparent who was a big part of this football loving family. Whether you like football or not, the parents in the story are people you can identify with. They could be you, your neighbours, relatives or friends. In other words they are human.

When I wrote this I had my own personal family story at the forefront of my mind. I remembered the death of my own grandmother when I was nine and in particular my childish confusion around my family’s response to her death, which given the times – was a silent sort of sadness.

family story - image of a footballLike little Jimmy in ‘Football Crazy’ I thought my family would never be the same again and also like Jimmy I gradually learned that families do recover and be ‘normal’ again.

Looking back to those times I know if had heard or read a little story about other families coping with the loss of a loved one it would have helped me and relieved some of my confusion.

The idea of helping a confused child or helping parents raise a sensitive subject to discuss with their children really inspired me to write a family story but I didn’t want to make it too sad. Life is a mixture of  happy and sad events so I aimed to write a warm and enjoyable story to reflect that reality. I also wanted to show that time really does heal.

When Football Crazy was initially broadcast on RTE 1 National Radio here in Ireland, I was heartened by the wonderful response the story received from parents and children. So much so I decided to make the story available on Kindle for the first time.

All families experience crisis from time to time and I really hope that ‘Football Crazy’ is an enjoyable family story that can provide you and your children with a little help or comfort during a family crisis.

FOOTBALL MAD

FUNNY STORIES FOR KIDS 

(AND THEIR PARENTS)

cartoon man reading a book

A football‘Football Mad,’ is one of those stories that parents can identify with. We all want to be good parents but unlike those perfect parents we see in the adverts it’s sometimes hard to find the time to do all the things our children want us to do. Football

Well, the parents in this story aren’t perfect either. In fact, they are very busy and this gives their son, Shane, a problem.

cartoon boy with football
By Brendan Hill

Shane’s problem is that he is absolutely football mad and he desperately wants to get on the school football team. Unfortunately for Shane his coach says his techniques aren’t good enough and he needs to practice. To do this, Shane needs support from his parents but they’re just so very busy…

footballThe other boys in school make fun of Shane and with his Mum busy  practicing her yoga and his Dad busy reading, he enlists some support from his granddad and together they come up with a solution.

ABOUT FOOTBALL MAD

 FUNNY SHORT STORIES FOR KIDS FROM IRELAND

FOOTBALL MAD

I was commissioned to write ‘Football Mad’ for children’s radio here in Ireland. It was then broadcast on RTE Radio One as part of its children’s Fiction Fifteen series.

Football Mad is set in Ireland which is where most of my children’s stories are set and by a funny coincidence is also where I happen to live – right at the end of this lane below.

country-laneOne of the things I most enjoy doing is writing dialogue, especially children’s and I feel strongly that you don’t really know who a character is, even one you’ve invented, until you’ve made them talk. Sometimes it takes time to find a voice for a character but once you do it’s fun and they almost begin to create their own stories.  Once I’ve found a character’s voice it remains with me for a very long time.

The images in Football Mad are the work of Brendan Hill of Evilhairday and you will find more of his wonderful art here. 

Funny short stories for kids Image of a boy and a football

I really enjoyed writing this story and Shane’s voice was great fun to work with. In fact I loved finding all the voices of the characters in Football Mad and it is one of those children’s stories that adults seemed to enjoy as much as kids.

I think it is because parents feel empathy with Shane’s Mum and Dad. They were busy and didn’t want to be roped into playing football with their son. funny short stories for kids. Image of a football They are good parents but there’s no such thing as perfect parents or perfect children.

I adapted this story from my own original radio version, especially for younger Kindle readers and for the parents who read to them. I hope you enjoy it reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Grace