Specsavers Children’s Book of the Year (Junior)
A Child of Books – Sam Winston and Oliver Jeffers
Goodnight Everyone – Chris Haughton
Historopedia – Fatti & John Burke
Pigín of Howth – Kathleen Watkins
Rabbit and Bear: Rabbit’s Bad Habits – Julian Gough & Jim Field
Rover and the Big Fat Baby – Roddy Doyle
Specsavers Children’s Book of the Year (Senior)
Knights of the Borrowed Dark – Dave Rudden
The Book of Shadows – ER Murray
The Making of Mollie – Anna Carey
Needlework – Deirdre Sullivan
Nothing Tastes As Good – Claire Hennessy
Flawed – Cecelia Ahern
Wild Words Children’s Book Festival has rapidly gained its reputation as Ireland’s best Young Adult (YA) writing festival.This is primarily because Wild Words has attracted teenagers back to books and because the festival has picked up on the zeitgeist; a golden age for young adult books. Extraordinarily talented writers like Sarah Crossan, Dave Rudden and Eilís Barrett who are all part of this new wave underpin the reputation of the festival.With masterclasses, workshops, readings and other activities, the festival has plenty for every age group. This year however, with a wealth of new titles hitting the bookshelves, there is a strong emphasis on books for young adults.When Dave Rudden was at Wild Words last year he had just signed a six-figure book deal with Puffin. Those in attendance got a sneak preview of Knights of the Borrowed Dark. It has since been published – and it’s great. Rudden has been noted as “an author to watch” and Knights of the Borrowed Dark described as “a pacy, entertaining read, but with a heart, too.”It’s been a great year for Sarah Crossan too. Her new novel One, which tells the story of conjoined twins Grace and Tippi, has earned her the Bookseller’s Young Adult Book Prize, the Children’s Books Ireland Book of the Year and the CILIP Carnegie Medal. For Wild Words Sarah will be giving a masterclass and appearing alongside first time author Eilís Barrett, who at 16 years of age has already published her first novel Oasis, fulfilling one of her life ambitions. Oasis tells the story of Quincy Emerson, a young girl who is on the run because she carries the X gene that causes a virus that nearly wiped out the human race. The book is gripping and all aspiring young authors will want to meet this remarkable young woman.
PJ Lynch has illustrated over 20 books since 1984, including modern editions of classics such as Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol and The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Andersen.
Ireland’s children’s laureate – or Laureate na nÓg as it is known – was established to engage young people with high quality children’s literature and to underline the importance of children’s literature in our cultural and imaginative lives.
Lynch said: “Being named the new laureate is one of the proudest moments of my career. I want to explore the magic that happens when words and pictures come together. My theme as Laureate na nÓg will be ‘The Big Picture’ – I plan to do a regular podcast involving live drawing or demonstrating techniques and I’ll invite guests to talk about their drawing passions. I would also love to create a landmark image in a prominent place or places in Ireland as a permanent reminder of the power of pictures to incite the imagination.”
A previous winner, John Boyne, and last year’s YA book prize winner, Louise O’Neil, are both in the running for the Children’s Books Ireland (CBI) Book of the Year award. But they are both up against author and illustrator Oliver Jeffers who has two books on the shortlist – and has also won the award twice before.
This year looks set to be another stellar one for children’s books, and Irish young adult (YA) in particular will blaze a trail in 2016. There are new titles from brand names such as Julia Donaldson, Eoin Colfer and Derek Landy, plenty of interesting debuts and some intriguing books from ‘grown up’ bestsellers Cecelia Ahern and Sheila O’Flanagan.
In this review piece, Robin Dunbar heralds the new book by Derek Landy.
The review also mentions Name Upon Name by Sheena Wilkinson and, excitingly for ACHUKA (always a big fan of this author) The Red Shoe by Ursula Dubosarsky.
One of the most eagerly awaited of Irish children’s books of recent months is now with us in the form of Derek Landy’s Demon Road (HarperCollins, £12.99). With the hugely popular series of nine Skulduggery Pleasant titles behind him, what direction might his writing now take? His numerous fans will be glad to know that this new work, while featuring a totally different cast, retains a great many of the thematic and stylistic features that have endeared him to his followers.
But, equally, they should enjoy his exploration of new territories, complete with a diverting assortment of new characters drawn from both real and imagined worlds.
Always attracted to what HP Lovecraft diagnosed as the “current of weirdness” in Irish literature, Landy shows no diminution of his fascination with what he himself, in a dedicatory note to Demon Road, describes as “the myriad delights of horror”. The “delights” to be savoured here are in plentiful supply, and horror enthusiasts will respond to their inventiveness and variety.
Intended as the opening volume of a projected trilogy, with the two remaining titles due to appear at six-monthly intervals, Demon Road evinces Landy’s skill in drawing on the conventions of literary and film horror to entice his readers into his own “current of weirdness”. The strap line on the book’s cover proclaims, of its principal character, “She’s having a hell of a time”. So, one imagines, will its many readers.
Crime pays — at least the fictional kind — for Ireland’s best selling children’s author Eoin Colfer, as accumulated profits at his book firm topped €2.6m last year.
The former Wexford primary school teacher has sold more than 25m books translated into 44 languages around the globe about the adventures of his teenage criminal mastermind, Artemis Fowl.
Now, accounts filed by Colfer’s firm, Artemis Fowl Ltd, show that the firm’s accumulated profits last year jumped by just under €800,000 going from €1.825m to €2.622m.
The cash pile at the firm during the year also rose sharply, going from €1.843m to €2.6m.
Moon Man by Tomi Ungerer has been adapted as a film that will screen as part of this week’s Cork French Film Festival:
Good feature on Ungerer in the Irish Examiner:
via Illustrator Tomi Ungerer says Ireland is the best place to live | Irish Examiner.
In the first of a new series of features on prominent figures in UK publishing, ACHUKA recently met up with David Maybury, the new commissioning editor at Scholastic…
I know many of you could not make the Children’s Books Ireland Conference today in the Lexicon Library in Dun Laoghaire, here are some notes and thoughts on the day…