Paperback - (CAN $)
published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux, New York, 2002
in Canada, 2002
in German in Germany, 2003
Jeunesse in France, 2004
Winner of the Chocolate Lily Book Award, 2004 -
a BC young reader's choice award
of the Sheila
A. Egoff BC Book Prize for Children's Literature,
as Children's Literature Choice List for 2003
- a list recognizing 150 of the year's top
contributions to children's literature
Cedar Youth Reader's Choice Award, 2004-5
Young Readers' Choice Award, 2004
Children's Choice Book Awards, 2004
Maple Award by the Ontario Library Association, 2003
Tiny Torgi Audio Literary Award (for books in alternative formats),
Library Association Young Adult Book of the Year Award, 2003
As near flawless as a book can be. Heneghan is one of
the best and most unusual [of] childrens authors . . . an amazing
writer who should be known everywhere.
E. E. Cran, New Brunswick
tells an engaging and optimistic tale of loss, recovery, and a little
bit of magic."
treats all his characters with kindness, and Andy's bruised sorrow and
battered hope will engage readers to the last page."
GraceAnn A. DeCandido, Booklist
blood thicker than water?
rains nearly every day, until the rivers burst their banks. The
first thing the slumbering Sheehogue knew was the deafening boom that
tumbled them from their grassy bowers. This was followed by a flood
of water and mud over the meadow that swept the Sheehogue rapidly along
in nature's unexpected waterslide. They saw homes of mortals tumbling
into the creek. "Save their children!" the Old Ones ordered.
Flynn is one of those saved, but his mother and stepfather both die
in he flood. Suddenly the only world that Andy has ever known is gone
and he is alone. Aunt Mona, whom he has never met, takes him to live
with her in Halifax, on the opposite side of the country. During the
trip, Aunt Mona reveals to him that his father is still alive -- and
living in Halifax. As soon as they reach their destination, Andy ecapes
to find his father. Although Vincent Flynn may not be the perfect father,
Andy wants to stay with him rather than live with his harsh aunt. After
all, Vincent is fun, and he has promised Andy he will find a real job
so they can move to a nicer place than the seedy Mayo Rooms. But even
with a bit of help from the Little People, Andy's father can't seem
to keep his word.
with humor and mischief, James Heneghan's latest novel tells the poignant
story of a young boy's search for a true home.
HORN BOOK (July/August 2002). What keeps this story from becoming just
another problem novel are the Sheehoguefaeries who left Ireland
during the Great Famine and are now
scattered throughout the world.
This subtle element adds a touch of fantasy to a satisfying novel featuring
well-developed characters who are never aware of the role the Sheehogue
play in their lives. It isnt until Andy discovers where he really
belongs and settles into a happy new life that the Sheehogue return to
their home in Vancouver. But no mystical flying on gossamer wings for
these postmodern Little People: they head home on Air Canada.
MARSHALL IN CM MAGAZINE (Sept. 6, 2002). Highly Recommended. ***1/2 out
of 4. In this cut-to-the-bone portrayal of an 11-year-old boy's grief,
James Heneghan raises questions about parenting and weaves through it
the amusing and persistent influence of the Irish faeries. ... The crisp,
realistic dialogue moves this story along and reflects the Nova Scotia
setting. The constant rain and chill of a Halifax winter permeates Flood
and provides the perfect background to this story about grief and family
love. The lilting quality of Vinny's honeyed words charms the reader as
well as Andy. Andy's stream of anxious thoughts perfectly portrays a child's
anger and fear. His worst fears are repeated: "What if your dad doesn't...What
if your dad doesn't..." ... But by far the most interesting approach
in Flood is the insertion of the faeries' amusing conversations as they
watch over and protect Andy until he is settled. Conjured up in Vinny's
wonderful storytelling and superstitions, the fairies wrap this story
in comfort and warmth even as Andy's circumstances deteriorate. ... Characterization
is compelling and believable. Before the flood Andy is a typical 11-year-old,
concerned with friends, soccer, TV and video games and indulged by a loving
mother and absent stepfather. Heneghan cleverly develops Andy's character
from the stunned overwhelming disbelief of a suddenly orphaned boy to
a boy whose anger and desperation push him to find his father and to coax
him into a new life as a parent. ... It is the picture of Vinny, though,
that dominates this novel - the talented, beloved man who cannot cope
with his brother's accidental death and who lets his life fall apart.
Vinny, the con artist with the golden tongue, can charm anyone but remains
totally unreliable. It's good for children to see that all adults aren't
perfect and some cannot change. Heneghan's humanity glows here as Andy,
Mona and Hugh determine that they will keep in touch with Vinny and make
sure that he is OK. This is an excellent novel. Since the drab, dreary
cover will not likely attract children, the book will require some selling,
but this is such a compelling story that any middle school student will
be truly touched by it. Joan Marshall is the teacher-librarian at Fort
Richmond Collegiate in Winnipeg, MB.
HUBERT, AMAZON.COM. It's a good thing that 11-year-old Andy Flynn has
the Sheehogue, or Fairy people, looking out for him, or he'd be up a creek--literally!...
Irish-born Canadian author James Heneghan gambles on a mix of lighthearted
Irish folklore and a rather somber story of a lost and lonely boy. But
imaginative plotting and well-constructed characters makes this gamble
pay off. Reminiscent of "Floodland" and "Witch Hill",
both by Marcus Sedgwick, Flood is another satisfying, magically real read
for middle-grade students. (Ages 10 to 14).
OPPEL, QUILL & QUIRE (Feature Review: "A Difficult Dad",
April 2002). Heneghan
is a fine writer, and, as always, his unadorned prose carries a wallop.
In Flood, his greatest achievement is the complex characterization. There
are no heroes or villains here, no easy oppositions. He captures Andys
shell-shock, and later his innate determination and adaptability (so true
of children) even in the midst of a tenement apartment. And just when
the reader is tempted to write off Vincent Flynn [the father], Heneghan
shows us his redeeming traitskindness and honestywhen he finally
tells his son a boy needs to be looked after properly. And Im
not up to it. Its beyond me. Dyou hear what Im telling
you? Im not the one to bring you up. ... It is Vincent who
calls up Aunt Mona and asks her to take Andy into her home. Here Heneghan
deftly chronicles Andys complicated emotional state as he vents
his feelings of abandonment toward his Aunt Mona ... And Heneghan believably
moves Andy from animosity to grudging acceptance, and then gratitude and
love toward his new family.
What is most impressive about Heneghans
handling of the father-son relationship is that he resists what surely
must have been a powerful temptation to reform Vincent Flynn. A lesser
writer would have succumbed to superficial sentimentality, showing the
father finally getting his act together for the sake of his son, getting
a job, finding a better place to raise his boy. To Heneghans immense
credit, Vincent Flynn does not such thing. And despite the faeries, this
is a splendid book.
L. MEISTER, SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL Grades 4-8-- Interludes at the end
of each chapter feature the Little People's bantering conversations, and
Andy's father's Irish tales add a touch of fantasy and humor to this realistic
and serious book. While not a tearjerker like Ann M. Martin's "With
You and Without You" (Holiday, 1986; o.p.) or a journey of acceptance
like Sharon Creech's "Walk Two Moons" (HarperCollins, 1994),
it is a worthy and warmly written book about coming to terms with a parent's
death. Beth L. Meister, Queens Borough Public Library, Flushing, NY.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
SAILOR, CENTER FOR LITERATURE FOR YOUNG READERS. I thought this book was
great. It had humor, sorrow, adventure, and fantasy all mixed into
one. It was beautifully written and I eagerly await his next book.
James Heneghan is an excellent writer who makes you feel like you're right
there with Andy and his unseen, lifely friends. Though this book
may be fictional, Heneghan claims that the wind chimes you heard, after
you tripped yesterday, might have come from the pranksters themselves.
This reader can vouch for Heneghan's claim. I think that nine
to twelve year old kids would really like this book. If you've ever
read "Artemis Fowl", by Eoin Colfer, I think you would like
it. It deals with fairies and other such things and has a clever
plot that was carefully thought out.~ Olivia Sailor, 7th Grade, Wilmington
Area High School, Ohio.