We couldn’t be more delighted with our two fabulous authors – Deirdre Sullivan and Paul Gamble – for winning an award each at yesterday’s Children’s Books Ireland Awards.
Deirdre Sullivan, author of Needlework, took home the Honour Award for Fiction. The judges said that ‘Needlework by Deirdre Sullivan is a poetic and eloquent exploration of violation, abuse, neglect and advocacy of the transformative power of art. Starkly genuine and sincere, Sullivan’s powerful use of the metaphor of tattooing invites reflection about identity, difference, self-protection and self-invention. This searing yet delicate representation of adolescent experience will resonate deeply with teenagers and is a story that needs to be told and needs to be read.’ Deirdre had been previously shortlisted for two books from the Primrose Leary series, but this is her first big win!
Paul Gamble, author of The Ministry of SUITs, made off with the Eilís Dillon award for a first children’s book. The judges said, ‘Get ready for a rollercoaster of zaniness, adventure and hilarity! This debut novel by Paul Gamble skilfully juxtaposes the fantastical, thoughtful, comic and mundane. The relentlessly curious Jack, on a mission to find his missing friend, is recruited into the secret Ministry of Strange and Unusual and Impossible Things (Ministry of S.U.I.T.s) which deals with all the weird creatures and objects in the world. Enhanced by witty footnotes and explanatory subsections, this deliciously imaginative and immersive novel is a joy to read.’ What an amazing review of a writer’s first ever book, though we can certainly see more books coming from the weird and wonderful place that is Paul’s mind.
Huge congratulations to both our winners, and to all the wonderful books on the shortlist this year.
Photos by Sasko Lazarov and courtesy of Children’s Books Ireland