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It's 1845 in Ireland and Mary, a typical young girl who loves nothing more than spending time with her family, and her friends in the local hedge school, is devastated when her world is turned upside down by the potato blight.

In a matter of one day her life is torn apart by a scourge she can barely understand as neighbours and friends fall foul of dreaded disease; and she is forced to stay at home and help out where she can.

As Mary's parents reluctantly work on the roads to make ends meet, she puts on a brave face at home with her younger siblings and ailing grandmother - but inside she is crying. Eventually the whole family is forced to turn to the workhouse for food and shelter but, despite getting on with it, Mary longs for her family to reunite and live happily ever after.

Their only hope? Granda's gold...

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About the Author
Fiona Buckley is 12 years old and lives near Macroom, Co. Cork. She is the only sixth class pupil in her school, Ballyvongane NS, Coachford, Co. Cork, where creative writing is very much encouraged. As a consequence she has been writing short stories since she was seven, but wrote her first book in the summer of 2013. Better than Gold originally started out as homework, but as the summer progressed Fiona started to enjoy writing it more and more.

This book, which is set during famine time in Ireland, is such an inspiration it was picked up by her publisher, Emu Ink, after being sent out by her teacher.

The profits from Better than Gold are being donated to Down Syndrome Ireland, in honour of Fiona's brother, John, who has received enormous support from the charity.