Little Bang: eBook (Reflowable ePub)

By Kelly McCaughrain

A bittersweet Northern Irish romance that takes a new look at teen pregnancy, the magic and mess of first relationships, and a young woman's right to choose her own future.

"A fantastically clever novel" - Sarah Crossan "Full of authentic humour, youthful hyperbole and hope" - Books of the Year, The Big Issue "Deeply true. A book to press into the hands of others" - Deirdre Sullivan "Warm and wise" - The Bookseller "Everyone who loved Derry Girls, this is the book for you!" - Sarah Webb "Bursting with humour, compassion, and characters that fizz with life" - Padraig Kenny "Romantic, funny, important" - Jenny Ireland Beneath the New Year's Eve fireworks, shy science-nerd Mel and slacker songwriter Sid get pregnant on their first date. Any sixteen-year-olds would expect trouble – but this is Northern Ireland 2018, where abortion is still illegal. Mel's religious parents insist she must keep the baby, whilst Sid's feminist mum pushes for a termination. Mel and Sid are determined to do this together, but they soon discover that pregnancy is totally different for boys and girls. When their relationship starts to fall apart under all the pressure, Mel finds herself feeling alone with the impossible dilemma of the Little Bang growing inside her.

Categories: Ebooks

For readers aged: 14+

  • Publication details:
  • Format: Reflowable
  • ISBN: 9781529520446
  • Published: 04 Jan 2024
  • Price: £8.99
  • Pages: 304

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Customer reviews


'McCaughrain uses the backdrop of the Repeal the Eight campaign south of the Border to good effect… This is a nuanced and thoughtful engagement with the issues, rather than a polemic; the teenage and adult characters are fully developed and complex. A smart, deeply moving book.' Irish TImes

'Full of authentic humour, youthful hyperbole and hope… McCaughrain is careful not to be didactic or reductive. In the end this is a story about young relationships and concerns with believable, sympathetic characters.' The Big Issue

'This is a story that needs to be told and the authenticity and sensitivity with which it is told, bears witness to the award-winning author’s direct experience in schools and the stories she has heard from young people… Moving, compassionate and beautifully told this is an essential and important taboo- breaking book for young people to read.' LoveReading4Kids

'McCaughrain is an undeniable talent and a force to be reckoned with, skillfully exploring all the facets of debates around reproductive rights, while leaving enough space for the reader to truly fall in love with Mel and Sid.' Irish Examiner

'McCaughrain shines a harsh light on the lack of sex education for teenagers and young people in the school system, communities and homes in Northern Ireland… This book had me rooting for Mel and Sid as two young people navigating choices that they have little knowledge of. Both Mel’s and Sid’s lives are utterly changed, and it is intriguing to read how they not only react, but also come to settle with their decision. McCaughrain motivated me to question, and that is the beauty of a powerful book.' Inis Magazine, Children's Books Ireland

'This is a timely and thought-provoking book and an essential buy for school libraries and discussion groups. It never preaches, often entertains and has the cast-iron ring of truth.' Books for Keeps

'I found myself both smiling and frowning as I read. A fantastically clever novel which feels completely relevant.'

'Little Bang is both warm and wise and its exploration of teenage pregnancy and abortion feels rooted in reality.' The Bookseller

'Reading it, I had a sense that I was hand in hand with my teenage self… A book that prompts conversation and compassion; a book about choices and timelines and connection, and deep, lonely courage.'

'Romantic, funny, important.'

'Thought provoking and deeply human.'

'Everyone who loved Derry Girls - this is the book for you! Full of warmth, Northern Irish humour, heartbreaking teen decisions, messy teen glory.'

'Such a brave, honest, nuanced treatment of the story. This book will open up discussions, and hearts and minds.'

'I could not put this book down. An honest, heartfelt and truly humane book about an incredibly important subject.'

'The kind of book that leaves your heart wide awake … as raw, gut-wrenching and real as it could be. I can’t stop thinking about it.'

'Bursting with humour, compassion, and characters that fizz with life. Kelly McCaughrain is one of a kind.' Pádraig Kenny, author of The Monsters of Rookhaven

'Without a doubt the best YA narrative I have read which touches on the issues of unplanned pregnancy and abortion. A (little) banger!'

'This is a book which has been a long time coming. A book for teens and young adults who may be struggling with the reality of an unwanted pregnancy. A book which deals honestly and openly with so many of the issues around abortion - and in particular, the issues in Northern Ireland, of which many readers will be unaware - in a respectful, nuanced and thought-provoking manner... This is such an important, ground-breaking book. It is entertaining, thought-provoking and compassionate, and I think it should be in every school and library, educating and supporting young people.' NetGalley Reviewer

'Great for young minds to read and see what life entails for a young parent and I think the realistic way the story is told will really resonate with readers.' NetGalley Reviewer

'This book definitely shows the trials and tribulations of teen pregnancy and the conflicting attitudes of people. Enjoyable read overall.' NetGalley Reviewer

'A moving, honest, and powerful book that handles a teenage girl's choice to have an abortion with nuance and sensitivity. This book is going to make so many young women feel seen and empowered.' NetGalley

'Little Bang is an important book that needs to be read by young people and belongs on library shelves. It deals with messy emotions and takes a thoughtful look at the challenges facing teen relationships in the 21st century. Capturing the spark of first attraction, awkwardness, self-doubt, societal pressure and stress, it explores a range of opinions whilst exposing the blame/shame game. Above all, it demonstrates the importance of respect for bodily autonomy without being didactic.... It has universal cross-over appeal and will engage senior book groups, debating clubs, Ethics classes in Philosophy and PSHE groups. Northern Irish teens looking for relatable reality fiction reads will also appreciate it.' ReadingZone

'"Little Bang is a beautifully written, darkly funny, teen romance/coming-of-age story with a difference. It’s also compulsively readable, relatable and, potentially, life-altering.' ReadingZone

'A gripping read that you will not want to put down.' Toppsta Reviewer

'This is a well written book for older teens, and adults, as well as being a great book to fit in very nicely with the PSHE teaching in secondary school… A gripping read that you will not want to put down.' Toppsta Reviewer

'I wasn’t aware that abortion had ever been illegal in the UK before reading this book… I found this book interesting because it was about a REAL issue… The book did a really good job of showing how differently Mel and Sid were treated by the other characters.' Toppsta Reviewer, age 16

'Story was well written with age appropriate language. The story was about a real issue that young people need to be aware of.' Toppsta Reviewer, age 15

'I thought the book handled a potentially difficult subject really well, it was emotative but also really interesting to learn about the vote and what life was like then. The book was really good for older teens but also for adults I think would like this too. A really good read about people my age.' Toppsta Reviewer age 16

'I really enjoyed this book as the topic is current and real, as well as politically and socially polarizing, making it all the more interesting.' Toppsta Reviewer

'This is a beautifully written romance that pulls you in different directions as the young couple face pressure from society, religion and each other.' Scotland on Sunday

'Kelly McCaughrain finds plenty of humour, much of it dark and through the sparky dialogue... The definition of a thought-provoking and important novel not just found young adults but for adults as well.' Paper Lanterns Lit

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