The Hunt for David Berman
Claire Mulligan

We are very proud to be publishing our first book  a novel for children aged 711 which we hope will captivate young audiences as much as it has done us ... 

It is 1940 and Britain is at war with Germany. Robert has been evacuated from London to his grandparents’ farm in Scotland. While exploring the rugged coastline, he finds a boy living in the caves. The boy is called David and he is a Kindertransport child. David had to leave his mother and grandmother behind in Berlin, and has now run away from his cruel foster family nearby.

Meanwhile, at the Gestapo Headquarters in Berlin, it is discovered that an Enigma codebook has been hidden in David’s suitcase. A Nazi secret agent in the UK is instructed to find David, retrieve the codebook and kill the boy …

“An adventure worthy of any film on the silver screen … Mulligan's story brings an original approach to the historical material that smacks of classic adventure tales of E Nesbit” Irish Times

“A heart-stopping story … This is a thriller in the best tradition of children’s writing, laced with danger at every turn. With heartbreak, warmth, hardship, and battles for survival – plus a top-secret codebook – this is Ian Serraillier meets Michael Morpurgo, with a hint of Famous Five.” The Echo

“A tremendously thrilling, powerfully moving story, rich in detail, exemplifying the incredible courage and resilience of people, children included, during the Second World War. Claire Mulligan has created two superb characters in Robert and David, around whom her superbly crafted tale is constructed. Now, as we witness through the media every day children fleeing from war in Ukraine, her book has an added poignancy.” Jill Bennett, Red Reading Hub

“This is a thrilling wartime adventure with a big heart and a great friendship at its core.” Kelly McCaughrain

“What an exquisite read The Hunt for David Berman is - a captivating WW2 story filled with hope, friendship & a Nazi secret agent ... Absolutely loved it!” Check 'Em Out Books

“"Utterly gripping and powerfully written with a wonderfully satisfying ending. Book Craic 

“There’s intrigue, friendship and the best kind of adventure running through this story.” Reading Zone

“A cracking story, well-paced and with strongly-developed characters.” Jane Sandell

“Such is the quality of Claire Mulligan’s writing that had I been told this was a classic work of children’s literature I had somehow missed out on I would believe it. This is strong and assured storytelling of a rare kind. But for me it is the soaring quality of the writing. It is everything that children need and deserve from a work of fiction. Thank goodness this dear and deeply satisfying little novel has been discovered. A story utterly wedded to its bleak and blustery Scottish sea setting but anchored by the deep abiding warmth of family. It would not surprise me in the least if this is a future Carnegie Medal contender.” Louise Greig
“I’d almost forgotten what a good, gripping children’s adventure story was like. The Hunt for David Berman is a compulsive page turner. Set in 1940, it comes complete with seaside caves and spies, scary sessions at Gestapo Headquarters (watch out for The Dentist!) and above all a tale of courage and friendship between two boys from very different families.” Diana Hendry
“Robert and David are terrific characters, brave and loyal, and their friendship is at the heart of this well-written WW2 novel. Carefully researched, with lots of authentic detail, this friendship and adventure story will charm fans of Michael Morpurgo and Marita Conlon-McKenna.” Sarah Webb

The Hunt for David Berman is an exciting, pacy thriller of a tale which keeps the reader on the edge of their seat. It offers a traditional romp of an adventure, but one full of historical detail – a perfect combination! … The Hunt for David Berman would be a great book to use in school, both as an excellent story and as the starting point for discussions about events during the Second World War. It also offers much in terms of developing empathy and exploring the importance of getting to know others.” Sue Wilsher, FCBG Librarian

“The Hunt for David Berman is a welcome addition to my bookshelves and the characters of Robert and David are amongst my favourites. Their curiosity, adventurous spirits and courage under pressure are to be celebrated! … At times thrilling and heart wrenching, it still feels all too real to read about children living through the uncertainty of war and finding great depths of courage. This would make a superb addition to any class studying WWII.” My Shelves are Full, Erin Hamilton – FCBG Librarian
“Compelling and relevant … These story threads twine together in an exciting and at times extremely moving adventure … Robert and David are wonderful characters about whom young readers will quickly care and their friendship is at the centre of this story full of rich historical detail and suspense. The assured writing style ensures this has a feel of wartime classics enjoyed by children for many years and the gradual reveal of information, the dual settings and use of flashback will ensure young readers want to read on to find out what happens. There is intrigue, family relationships, loss and courage running through this page turner giving it more layers and depth of meaning… Highly recommended for young readers who enjoy books by Emma Carroll or the historical novels by Tom Palmer.” Anne Thompson, Chair SLA Surrey
“Powerful and emotional, The Hunt for David Berman is sure to join the growing collection of engaging Second World War stories for children that reveal the courage and resilience of the ordinary people who lived through this challenging time.”
Scope for Imagination
“The plot moves with purpose and conviction and the 29 thrilling short chapters make this book ideal for reading aloud to a KS2 class each day over a half a term.” The School Reading List

“When I’m reading a story and I don’t want to go to bed because I’m so invested in the characters and plot that I’m desperate to finish it then I know I’m onto a winner! The Hunt for David Berman is such a powerful yet gentle story … Claire has sensitively tackled the darkness with such powerful love and friendship … a uniquely captivating WW2 story which builds to a dramatic conclusion … an exquisite read … Absolutely loved it.” Teacher and influencer Tom Griffiths
“I thought this was marvellous.” Jon Biddle, educational consultant and children’s books/literacy expert
“My year 5 class thought that it was a really enjoyable story, with more than one child complaining that they didn’t want me to stop reading at the end of the day (always a good sign in my humble opinion). There’s intrigue, friendship and the best kind of adventure running through this story.” Toppsta teacher review
“[A] wonderful debut … an emotional rollercoaster of a read … Claire Mulligan's writing is beautiful and she uses clever dynamics in her storytelling to deliver emotional punches and breathtaking cliffhangers filled with suspense. This story grips you from the start and it does not let go its grasp, not even at the very end. This is a tale of two boys that will stay with you. You cannot help but love Robert and David and the bond that binds them together… Claire's emotive scene setting and character descriptions knit together so beautifully in the story … She shows vividly the impact of war on those left behind … A brilliant story beautifully told. It will have you on the edge of your seat, crying tears of sadness and joy. A story of friendship, family and belonging that will leave you with hope in your heart.” Edspire
“I love a historical narrative and this brilliant debut MG adventure from Claire Mulligan did not disappoint… a tense and exciting adventure story! … This would make a great class read aloud in a KS2 WW2 topic and provides a starting point for exploring themes of war, evacuees, refugees, anti-semitism and also kindness, family, loyalty and the meaning of home. Clare Mulligan’s writing also provides a multitude of exemplar writing models for the classroom with excellent models for descriptive passages and characterisation.” Mrs Brown’s Book Box

“Sometimes our son’s pet jackdaw would sit on his head while Will or I read The Hunt for David Berman to him that first time. As it so happened, David in the book has a pet jackdaw too, named Blitzen. From the outset, we were sure that this middle-grade novel about David, a Kindertransport child, and his wartime adventure with his new friend, Robert, an evacuee from London, was something really special. Featuring murderous Nazis, enigma codebooks and wild sea adventures, The Hunt for David Berman is a thrilling page-turner set in the wilds of Scotland.” Rebecca O’Connor, publisher of The Caterpillar in Books for Keeps

Claire Mulligan lives in an old farmhouse set deep among the rolling drumlins of rural Ireland with her husband, their three boys, two dogs and a fox-dodging chicken called Percy. Claire’s children’s stories have been published in The Caterpillar magazine and she has written and recorded for RTE Radio 1’s Sunday Miscellany. In 2018 she won third place in the RTE Radio 1 Francis McManus Short Story Competition. This is her first novel.

The Hunt for David Berman


Publication date 5 May 2022
272pp B-format paperback
Middle-grade fiction
£8.99 / €9.99
ISBN: 9780956979575



We'll Sing Blackbird 
by Rebecca O'Connor

‘Artful and wry, these fresh poems surprise by making a big picture out of miniatures ... O’Connor has an eye for what Elizabeth Bishop called the "always-more-successful surrealism of everyday life"’ John McAuliffe, The Irish Times

‘I have been impressed and charmed in equal measure by We’ll Sing Blackbird. Quite beautiful.’ Scott Pack

‘A delicate, polished gem ... The poet's voice is nimble, light, assured.’ Doireann Ni Ghriofa, The Stinging Fly

Shortlisted for the Strong Shine Award 2013 (for best first collection) 

The Lakes’ was highly commended in the 2013 Forward Prizes for Poetry.

To read more about Rebecca click here.

To watch a film of her poem ‘Dear Taxidermist’ click here.

If you would like to order a copy for €12 (inc. postage worldwide) please click here.



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