A fast-paced story of Irish history and immigrant life in turn-of-the-century New Yorkand of a boy who triumphs over prejudice handed down for generations.
Long ago, Liam's English father disappeared. When his Irish mother dies, Liam is sent to her brother in Connemaraa rebellious land in Ireland's west. But Liam's fierce uncle holds England accountable for famines and all that the Irish suffered under her rule. He despises Liam for his English blood. So do the Connemara boys who torment and bully him. Before long, Liam is ensnared in a centuries-old battle.
Even in New York City, where he searches desperately for his father, Liam cannot evade the conflict. He must live with his uncle. A Connemara boy pursues him. Traveling Hell's Kitchen's streets in the horse-drawn wagon of the black man who hires him, Liam finds that violence breeds violence in this new world as it did in the old one. Irish and English, blacks and whites, and even horse and man are drawn into the destructive whirlwind. Liam longs to escape. With no one to help, can Liam rescue himself?
A Boy From Ireland links racial and national conflicts to those faced by any young adult, raising issues that are especially relevant today.