The winner of the 28th Children’s Books Ireland Book of the Year Award was revealed today at a ceremony held in Smock Alley Theatre, Dublin. Recipients of the Children’s Choice Award, Honour Awards for Fiction and Illustration, Eilís Dillon Award for a first children’s book and the Judges’ Special Award were also revealed.
The Eilís Dillon Award for a first children’s book went to Meg Grehan for The Space Between. The judges said, ‘Meg Grehan’s debut novel offers an honest and tender chronicle of new love between two young women and explores the complexities of sustaining mental health in contemporary society. The story ebbs and flows and is enhanced by the intriguing layout of text which expresses the tumult of the protagonist’s life and experiences. Skilfully rendered in verse and elegantly written and presented, Grehan’s narrative is a significant new addition to Irish children’s literature.’
Our very own Stephen Boylan gave the YA title a very positive review when it first came out saying:
“Meg Grehan’s The Space Between, written in free verse and published by Irish imprint, Little Island, focuses on the burgeoning relationship between two young women over the course of a year. Beth hides away from the world, suffering quietly and alone. Into her life, one day comes the miracle of Mouse, a dog, and its owner, Alice.
“One day at a time, Beth begins to emerge from herself in a beautifully realised story that not only vividly portrays the crippling effects of mental illness, but the tiny victories that are still possible from what comes your way. Pleasantly claustrophobic and deeply atmospheric, this bowled me over on a rainy Sunday afternoon.”
The CBI Book of the Year Awards is the leading children’s book awards in Ireland. Previous winners include Sarah Crossan for One, John Boyne for The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas; Sheena Wilkinson for Grounded, Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick for There and Hagwitch and Oliver Jeffers for Once upon an Alphabet.
Jenny Murray, Acting Director of CBI, said, ‘It is with great pride that we celebrate the CBI Book of the Year Award winners today. These awards, in their 28th year, have a long-established history of showcasing the very best of what Irish authors, illustrators and publishers have to offer to the children and young readers in Ireland and further afield.’
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