REVIEW: Madeleine Keane, Literary Editor, Sunday Independent


‘An energetic, engaging romp through key events in Irish history in the company of some of our illustrious, fascinating forebears. Imaginative, inventive, educational and great, great fun.’

‘Imaginative, inventive, educational and great, great fun.’

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REVIEW: Irish Mail on Sunday


‘Nobody tackles Easter 1916 with quite the
wit and verve of SP McArdle… what most readers – young and old – will take from
The Red-Letter Day is the joyous use of language that makes this tale sing.’

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REVIEW: Sunday Business Post


‘A rollercoaster ride through Irish history, from Book of Kells times to 1916 – on the steps of the GPO on Easter Monday.’

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REVIEW: Eoin Burke – aged 12

Eoin Burke aged 12 - pic with review of The Red-Letter Day 2

‘I have never read a book in the Suitcases series before, but after 140 pages of laughs, snorts, giggles and chortles, I felt deeply inclined to read another one.

The story follows a girl named Jenny who, when she enters the Best Bedroom of All, travels back in time – with the help of her witty guide O’Flahertie – to momentous events in Irish history.

What I thought was funny about this was that depending on what certain things were, they could have a different hue. I will not reveal any more than that because there is a risk of wandering into spoiler territory.

I think the story is incredibly well-written. As a result, there is not one false sentence. This book is up there with George Orwell’s Animal Farm and Louis Sachar’s Holes as one of my favourite books of all time.  I was especially engrossed at the 1916 parts as some of my relatives were involved fighting for Independence.

I could go on forever praising this book but, alas, I must keep this review short and sweet. Although, you must ask yourself, “What did I do to deserve such a great read?”

Also, I will be recommending this Irish masterpiece to all of my friends and classmates.

Thank you for a fantastic read I won’t soon forget.’

‘This Irish masterpiece is up there with George Orwell’s Animal Farm as one of my favourite books of all time.’

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REVIEW: The Primary Planet
Ireland’s first children’s newspaper
(Review by Siún Ibbs – aged 10)

Review, The Red-Letter Day, The Primary Planet - Suin IbbsSuin Ibbs of Ardara - reviewed The Red-Letter Day

‘I really enjoyed this book because there are loads of places involved, a bit of magic and some really funny bits as well. I can’t wait to read the others when they come out. I would definitely rate it 10/10.  It was amazing!’

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REVIEW: Leitrim Observer


‘This hilarious historic romp through time and imagination solves many riddles, including why Padraig Pearse didn’t sign the Republic’s Proclamation first.’

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REVIEW: Iris Muldoon – aged 10

‘This book is about a girl named Jenny who goes on an adventure by magicking herself away in a suitcase. I really liked this book. It was fast and funny and my favourite person in it was O’Flahertie. He helps Jenny out and they whizz through hundreds of years of Irish history. I recognised lots of the names from Irish fairy stories but it’s really cool when they land in 1916 because we are doing this in school and it made sense but in a really funny way. I really enjoyed this book and hope there are more out soon.’

‘I really enjoyed this book and hope there are more out soon.’

Iris and mum Myra enjoying The Red-Letter Day

Iris and mum Myra enjoying The Red-Letter Day

Iris’s mother, Myra – age withheld!! – adds her review (I’m really grateful for this as Myra is a busy doctor with three other children)

‘It has been a long time since I read a children’s book but I am glad that I read this one. It has a feel of magic about it, enough, I imagine, for kids to feel they are embarking on an adventure. Jenny is the heroine of the piece and with the aid of a grumpy gnome and helpful suitcase she is spirited away on a breakneck adventure through Irish history. This is cleverly done with whistle-stop tours in the ninth century and Book of Kells right up to the 1916 Rising.

The historical references are cleverly disguised and make easy reading for kids, with adults enjoying the inside knowledge. Jenny’s partner in crime is O’Flahertie, a thinly disguised Oscar Wilde. To adults reading it, his clever quotes and brilliance come through very smartly in this book.

My daughter thought he was a great character and really liked him. The finale is set around the 1916 Rising and the Proclamation. There is some magical redrawing of history to help the rebels along their way and proclaim their cause.

The book is carried along at a great tempo with plenty of humour and great drawings. The Irish interest in this book is particularly good with the year that is in it. Overall a really good read for kids and adults alike and I highly recommend it.’

‘Overall a really good read for kids and adults alike and I highly recommend it.’

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REVIEW: Irish Daily Mail


‘Hilarious fantasy tale for children aged eight to 12 featuring world-famous fighting writers and Finn McCool’s rude wolfhound.’

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REVIEW: Toby Murphy, aged eight


‘The book is set in Dublin, Ireland and the two main characters are Jenny and O’Flahertie. One day Jenny goes to her little cousin’s birthday party. She goes upstairs to one of the bedrooms and she goes on a big adventure. She gets to do loads of exciting things including saving Finn McCool with one of her souvenirs. The main thing Jenny has to do is touch The Freedom Document, which is really The Proclamation from 1916. When she touches this she can get back home to her family.

My favourite character was O’Flahertie because he had really floppy hair and was very funny.

I really enjoyed this book as there were loads of exciting things happening in it and I just wish that I would end up on an adventure like Jenny’s when I go to one of my cousins’ birthday parties.’


‘I really enjoyed this book as there were loads of exciting things happening in it and I wish that I would end up on an adventure like Jenny’s.’

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REVIEW: Fingal blog


Thanks so very much to guest blogger, travel writer and busy mum Louise Coughlan for finding the time to review my magical The Red-Letter Day history adventure on Fingal’s blog.

Click HERE to read the full review

‘The book was very insightful, as well as educational, with a very good synopsis on Irish history. A must-read, for old and young alike.’

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REVIEW: Northside People


‘The exciting finale of this hilarious historic romp sees Jenny in a daring escape from a gaol in 1916 during a bitter rebellion.’

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