Young Andy Burke, the son of a poor Irish seamstress, proves himself through hard work and strong character in the face of prejudice and physical attacks. Only an Irish Boy is part of a series of rags to riches stories of boys working hard and achieving the American dream of wealth. Alger wrote these to help instill the principle of Strive and Succeed, Personal Growth and Work to Achieve the American Dream. Horatio Alger, Jr. authored about seventy books. He was the son of a clergyman, graduated from Harvard. His stories are pure, inspiring and as endearing today as they were when first published.