The finalists for the 29th Children’s Books Ireland (CBI) Book of the Year Awards have been announced and there are some fantastic choices! With books for all ages included, here are the 10 books on the CBI Children’s Book of the Year shortlist for this year’s award.
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The ten shortlisted books for the CBI Children’s Book of the Year range from picture books to teen fiction – covering all ages and reading abilities – and we were delighted to see some debut authors on the list.
Each book will compete for the highly regarded awards, which also includes the innovative Children’s Choice Award, voted for by young readers across the island of Ireland.
The winners will be announced at a ceremony on 22nd May 2019 at Dublin’s Smock Alley Theatre, as part of International Literature Festival Dublin.
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The CBI Children’s Book of the Year Shortlist
Mucking About by John Chambers
We are in Ireland and it’s an awfully long time ago. Centuries and centuries. The country is supposed to have gone Christian, but there’s still magic in the air, salmon in the rivers, berries in the bushes, druids in the forest, a Worm in the lake, fairy music in the distance.
Manchan’s mother wants to make a monk of Manchan. Manchan most emphatically does not want to be made a monk of. He’d rather sing songs with his father; or go fishing with his friend, Pagan-of the-Six-Toes; or go charging through the forest with his pet pig, Muck; or go bare-back riding over the bog on the chieftain’s mad ram, Balor. Anything fun or adventurous or magical, and absolutely nothing to do with turnips, penance, prayers, monks and chanting.
Poor Manchan! The more he mucks about having fun, the more his mother is determined to tame him.
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The Weight of a Thousand Feathers by Brian Conaghan
Angry, stirring and tender, this is a bold, questioning exploration of the lengths to which we’ll go for the people we love. From the Costa Children’s Book Award winning author of When Mr Dog Bites and The Bombs That Brought Us Together.
Bobby Seed has questions. What’s another word for ‘thesaurus’? How can I tell Bel I want her as my girl friend, not my girlfriend? How much pain is Mum in today? Has she taken her pills? And sometimes, secretly, Why us?
Bobby’s little brother Danny has questions too. Will Bobby let him have Rice Krispies for dinner? And can he stay up late on the computer? And why won’t Mum’s stupid illness just GO AWAY?
But it’s Mum’s question for Bobby that could turn everything on its head. It’s the Big One. The Unthinkable One. If Bobby agrees, he won’t just be soothing her pain. He’ll be helping to end it. Would he? Could he?
Winner of the An Post Irish Book Awards Teen & YA Book of the Year 2018, Longlisted for the CILIP Carnegie Medal 2019.
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Beag Bídeach scríofa ag Sadhbh Devlin, maisithe ag Róisín Hahessy
Tá grá ag Nína dá dheartháir, Jimí ach, uaireannta cuireann sé isteach uirthi. Go háirithe nuair atá sí ag iarraidh a bheith ag spraoi lena cairde, na bábóga. Ba bhreá le Nína bheith bídeach ionas go bhféadfadh sí dul chun cónaithe lena cairde, na bábóg. Nach mbeadh an saol i dteach bábóige, gan Jimí, go hiontach ar fad?!
Nína loves her little brother Jimí, but sometimes, he just gets in her way… Especially when she wants to play with her friends, the dolls. Wouldn’t it be great if Nína was teeny tiny, so she could play with her friends in their house!
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The Great Irish Weather Book by Joanna Donnelly, illustrated by Fuchsia MacAree
There’s nothing the Irish like more than talking about the weather!
Here meteorologist Joanna Donnelly explains what weather is and how it happens. From cold fronts to climate change, satellites to storms, this book contains everything you’ve ever wanted to know about the weather.
Beautifully illustrated by Fuchsia MacAree, and containing lots of interesting facts and experiments, this is a book that every curious child will love.
Between Tick and Tock by Louise Greig, illustrated by Ashling Lindsay
The second magical picture book from the author and illustrator of The Night Box.
High above the bustle of the city, are eyes that watch, and hands that know, it’s time to pause the clock…and for one tiny second between tick and tock, the city stops!
Liesel notices the things that everyone else is too busy to see.
When she hears a stray whimper and watches a lonely boy on a roundabout, she decides it’s time to pause the clock and lend a helping hand. While the city freezes, Liesel quietly carries out little acts of kindness and breathes colour, life and happiness back into the city.
Louise Greig’s lyrical storytelling highlights the magic in everyday experiences and is accompanied by Ashling Lindsay’s warm, endearing illustrations. A wonderful picture book about the importance of kindness, looking out for others and taking time to appreciate the world around you.
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Tin by Pádraig Kenny
Pinocchio meets The Wizard of Oz as a boy and his mechanical friends discover the truth about his past in this magical bestseller.
Christopher is ‘Proper’: a real boy with a real soul, orphaned in a fire. He works for an engineer, a maker of the eccentric, loyal and totally individual mechanicals who are Christopher’s best friends. But after a devastating accident, a secret is revealed and Christopher’s world is changed for ever. What follows is a remarkable adventure, as Christopher discovers who he really is, and what it means to be human …
‘One of a kind. Utterly fantastic.’ Eoin Colfer
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Tuesdays are Just as Bad by Cethan Leahy
A witty YA novel that deals with serious issues such as depression and teenage suicide written by an exciting new talent in Irish fiction.
When troubled teenager Adam wakes in hospital after a suicide attempt, he finds that he has company. A ghost. Or perhaps it’s something else.
This ‘ghost’ is as confused as Adam about the whole situation. Narrated from the point of view of this ‘ghost’, Tuesdays are just as Bad follows Adam as he attempts to return to normal life – whatever that is.
When Adam makes new friends via his counselling sessions, he ends up developing a relationship with one of the gang, Aoife.
Surrounded by these friends, Adam starts to feel happy again. The ‘ghost’, however, becomes jealous. In the end, he decides that the only way he can be free of this feeling is to isolate Adam so he can have him all to himself, with catastrophic results.
Winner of the Mercier Press fiction competition.
The Pooka Party by Shona Shirley Macdonald
The Pooka is a magical shapeshifter who lives in the mountains all alone; fixing things, painting, dancing and singing. Suddenly, none of this seems fun any more, the Pooka realises that its lonely and hasn’t seen its friends in ages!
After having some time to think, the Pooka decides to throw a big party and invite all of its friends. Join the Pooka as it attempts to throw the Pooka party of the century in this fun and beautifully illustrated picture book.
A madcap tale of what to do if you feel sad and lonely, starring one shapeshifting hero with some musical monsters, flying cakes and a guest appearance by the Moon.
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Dr Hibernica Finch’s Compelling Compendium of Irish Animals by Rob Maguire, illustrated by Aga Grandowicz
A large-format, full-colour hardback information book on the animals of Ireland.
Animals from the air, land and sea are introduced to the reader by Dr Hibernica, an Irish professor who travels the country and knows everything there is to know about Irish wildlife. The spreads are presented in the style of her notebook and field notes, with jokes and sketches throughout.
Light-hearted prose by debut author Rob Maguire and exquisite zoologically correct illustrations by Polish-Irish illustrator Aga Grandowicz.
This beautiful animals book will be treasured by families, schools and libraries and will appeal to boys and girls.
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Flying Tips for Flightless Birds by Kelly McCaughrain
From debut author Kelly McCaughrain comes a sweet and kooky romcom for fans of R. J. Palacio’s Wonder and Susin Nielsen’s We Are All Made of Molecules.
Twins Finch and Birdie Franconi are stars of the flying trapeze. But when Birdie suffers a terrifying accident, Finch must team up with the geeky new kid, Hector Hazzard, to form an all-boys double act and save the family circus school.
Together they learn to walk the high-wire of teen life and juggle the demands of friends, family, first love and facing up to who they are – all served up with a dash of circus-showbiz magic.
“Witty and clever. This novel really does sparkle.” Roddy Doyle
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Congratulations to all the shortlisted authors and illustrators!
Which of the 10 titles on the CBI Children’s Book of the Year shortlist would your child most enjoy? Leave a comment below and let us know – we’d love to hear from you!