Press Reviews

Sue Leonard, The Examiner


"The Verdict. A classic tale to delight readers aged eight to 12."

Website Reviews

Mary Esther Judy, Litvox

"Want a story that sends shivers down your spine and makes you cheer out loud for the hero? This is it. Harp Maiden is simply marvellous."

Read the full review at

Mary Esther Judy, Fallen Star Stories

"Like its’ predecessor, Harp Maiden, what we have here is an incredibly constructed, beautifully written Gothic mystery that takes us to places we can only visit in our dreams…or nightmares. Consuming, eerie, fast-paced and simply extraordinary."

Read the full review at Fallen Star Stories

Readers' Reviews for Book 1: The Secrets of Grindlewood

I'd love to read your thoughts on my book and if you'd like your review to appear on this page you can email me at    



Rossa Byrne, Aged 10

Delgany, Co. Wicklow, Ireland.


"I thought the story was really good because it was exciting and full of adventure. The opening battle is amazing and immediately gets you involved in the story...  I would recommend this book to others. I thought it was great because it is full of mystery and adventure. I think anyone who enjoys a good mystery will love this book."


Read Rossa's full review

Sarah Holland and daughter Gracie

Dublin, Ireland


"My 7 year old daughter was lucky enough to receive Jackie's first childrens novel as a gift and we have been reading it together. It is totally engaging and we are riveted - highly recommended and we can't wait for the next installment!"

Ben Murphy, Aged 10

Ballymore Eustace, Co. Wicklow, Ireland. 


"The book was about a witch called Wanda and a wizard called Worfeus and a hero dog called Timber. My favourite part was when Timber saved the day multiple times. I would rate the book ☆☆☆☆☆. This book was brillant because it was full of adventure."

Sophia O'Boyle,

Dublin, Aged 11


"This book was written by Jackie Burke and this is my first time reading her work. She has written this piece beautifully and I can’t wait for the sequel. The book is beautifully built and detailed. The illustrations were lovely to find here and there and I was very honoured when my library teacher asked me to read it because I in fact would like to be an author and I hope that I can be as good as her one day....  If I were to rate I would give this book 11 out of ten because it was just so good!


I wish this author the best and I hope she will keep on writing these amazing books."


Read Sophia's full review

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Readers' Reviews for Book 2: The Secret Scroll

Stephanie Armstrong,

Greystones, Aged 11


"The book was really good and I would give it 9/10. Timber was my favourite character. I think children who love animals, adventure and magic will love this book. I've already recommended it to my friends and they are now enjoying it too. I liked all the twists and turns in the story and the way that the author made the mystery unfold. She made it easy to imagine and it was full of excitement. I'm really looking forward to reading book three when it comes out next year."

Lucy Callaly,

Delgany, Aged 11


"The book was amazing, I would give it a 9/10. The only reason it was 9/10 was because I kept forgetting who all the characters were. I thought you used great describing words and vocabulary which sort of made me think I was there, especially at the end. My favourite character was Balthazar the bee. He was so friendly and jolly even when times were at its worst. I would definitely recommend this book to children, in fact teenagers too! I wouldn't be surprised if they made the book in to a movie. I can't wait till the third book comes out. It sounds as magical and adventurous as the first two."

Have Jackie come to talk about creative writing, storytelling and the magic of Grindlewood!

Readers' Reviews for Book 3: The Queen's Quest

Mia Madden,

Dublin, Aged 12


"This book was an amazing read - filled with intrigue, magic and brilliant battle scenes. I especially loved the fact that it's a fantasy book. I love fantasy books! Like the other installments in the series, I didn't want to put it down. The pages were laden with mystery, secrets and feats of awesome bravery.


I recommend this book for ages 9+."

Readers' Reviews for Book 4: Zora's Revenge

Stephanie Creedon,

Dublin, Aged 10


"Jemima and Jamie’s parents go away to find out more about who owns the house and once they’re gone, an adventure starts! The evils, Vargon and Audmund, have brought the sorceress Zora back. Luckily she’s weak but Zora is impatient and wants revenge on the people of Hollow Hill."


"Jemima has discovered she can do magic, but how? Zora wants revenge on Hollow Hill. Can the Wandeleis protect their home? Can Jamie and the others complete their tasks? Find out for yourselves and read the book. I think you’ll like it because I loved it. I’d give this book, five stars out of five!"


Mia Madden,



"This fourth addition to the Grindlewood series is jam-packed with adventure, mystery and very well described battle scenes!  A long enough read with about 300 pages, but it has very big print and is nice and easy. I enjoyed it very much. I would recommend this book for ages 8+."


Reviews on Amazon

Ben O'Donoghue,


"...and kids enjoyed it too. Looking forward to the follow up / sequel. Jackie Burke is a fantastic story teller."

 Read Ben's Review on Amazon


"I bought this book for my daughter, who is quite selective about our night time stories,(more than once have we left a book down after one chapter), but this was a fantastic adventure and she can't wait for the next book in the series. No doubt, this will be a modern classic for kids. Enjoy!" - DC  


"I thought The Secrets of Grindlewood was awesome and now I can't wait for the next one to come out. If you like magic, action, and adventure in a book I think that the Secrets of Grindlewood would be a book for you." - Nathan 9 

See review


"I thought that The Secrets of Grindlewood was an amazing book. It was full of adventure, action, and excitement. It is full of suspense and almost everyone would love it. I definitely give this book *****, and I would especially recommend it to people who like adventure or mystery, as well as magic. After the very cleverly written cliffhanger, I can't wait for the next book, The Secret Scroll." - Nicholas 11 

See review


"Fantastic read for kids (& adults ;-) ! We're halfway through this third installment and we think it's the best one yet! Animals, tunnels, butterflies, goblins, gold... It's full of intrigue and interesting adventures. Couldn't recommend it enough for storytime before bed. Brilliant!" - DC

See review

Blog Reviews

BleachHouse Library


Mia Madden, Aged 11

Drogheda, Ireland.


"Ten year old Jamie, seven year old Jemima have moved to Grindlewood House and love to explore the gardens with their dog and cat. They read about the history of Grindlewood and learn about dark magic in the forest behind their garden. Here begin their adventures and their search for a secret spell.


One of the things I loved about this book is the fact that the animals have dialogue, but the humans don't hear it. There are not only a cat and dog, but birds, ducks, foxes, frogs and a cute hedgehog - all of these animal talk! There is also lots of mystery and I love reading about witches, spells and warlocks so the storyline was perfect for me. The book has pictures dotted through it which I liked and there is a great cliff-hanger at the end, which made me want to start the second book in the series straight away.


I really enjoyed this book and was lucky enough to get a signed copy, which is very special. I can't wait to read part two and will let you know what I though of it... Ideal for confident readers aged 8 +."


See Mia's review on BleachHouse Library blog

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