Bridie’s Fire


Older Children/Young Adult


Bridie’s Fire | 1848 – 1852

The Children of the Wind Series | Book I

Bridie’s world is torn apart when her parents and baby brother die in the Great Hunger. She leaves Ireland, and strikes out alone to claim a life for herself in Australia, on the other side of the ocean.

Between 1848 and 1850 over 4 000 girls between the ages of nine and sixteen were taken from workhouses in Ireland and sent to Australia. Most of them had lost at least one parent to the Great Hunger, the Irish potato famine of 1845-1850.

Bridie O’Connor is eleven years old when her story begins in Dingle, Ireland. Her adventures are based on the true history of the children of the Irish famine. Tragedy sends her across the globe to find a new home in Australia where the gold rush of the 1850s will open up a whole new future for Bridie.


  • 2004 NSW Premier's History Awards - Shortlist for The Young People's History Prize
  • CBCA Notable Book 2004
  • 2005 WAYRBA Shortlist (West Australian Young Readers Award)

Reviews of Bridie’s Fire

  • I've just finished Bridie's Fire. I loved it! Really, I couldn't put it down. It's such an inspiration, your book is my favourite book in the world and I am a book worm too!
    Georgia Dobbyn Ballarat, Aged 13
  • A sweeping, rollicking read with plenty of satisfying true-to-life detail.
    Northern Star
  • Bridie's Fire is a gripping read for 10 to 14 year olds, creating a deep sense of time and place which will draw the young reader in.

    Sally Murphy
  • I picked this book up without knowing it was intended for 10 to 14 year olds, and read it straight through… This book makes you proud of these little girls, our forbears.
    Mary Doyle Táin The Australian Irish Network Magazine
  • The novel "Bridie's Fire" by Kirsty Murray is full of excitement. It is a book that you can’t put down! The author should be proud of the effort she put into the book, it really paid off. The final result is a masterpiece.
    Stephanie Pope Year 9, Karabar High School, NSW
  • Murray’s affection for the early history of Victoria is evident and she introduces real people to come into contact with Bridie. Bridie sees and records with the believable personality of a pre-adolescent of her time: she comes alive.
    Magpies Magazine
  • Bridie's Fire is a compelling story set in the 1840s Ireland and Australia. Containing an array of details, the story transports us from poverty stricken Ireland into the splendour of colonial Victoria. This series is well worth reading as much for its historical content as for its compelling storyline.
    Lollipops Magazine