About the KPMG Children’s Books Ireland Awards
Founded in 1990 and sponsored since 2020 by KPMG Ireland, the Awards are the leading children’s book awards in Ireland. They recognise exceptional writing and illustration for young audiences by authors and illustrators who were born in Ireland, are permanently resident in Ireland or are citizens of Ireland.
Previous winners include Oein DeBhairduin and Leanne McDonagh for ‘Why the Moon Travels’, Máire Zepf for Nóinín, Deirdre Sullivan and Karen Vaughan for ‘Tangleweed and Brine’ and for ‘Savage Her Reply’, Chris Haughton for ‘Goodnight Everyone’, and former Laureate na nÓg Sarah Crossan for ‘One’.
This year the Awards received their highest-ever volume of submissions, at 139 entries. The winners were chosen by an independent judging panel made up of children’s book experts and one Young Judge – a young reader aged 15+ who participates in the full judging process. This year’s Young Judge was Transition Year student Clíodhna Jackson, from Coláiste Íosagáin, Dublin.
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KPMG Book of the Year
The KPMG Book of the Year Award went to Gut Feelings by C.G. Moore, a free verse YA novel that tells the story of a young gay man’s journey with an inherited, potentially fatal condition.
I learned that words,
More than weapons,
Could destroy bodies,
Could break hearts.
More than fists or fury.”
This is the story of Chris, what happened to him at age eleven and how that would change the rest of his life. A life-affirming and powerful coming of age verse novel that shines a light on chronic illness, who we are and how we live.
Praised by the judges for its engaging narrative, ‘filled with darkness and light, despair and hope, fear and desire, and love and trust’, Moore’s semi-autobiographical prose is illustrated by Becky Chilcott.
Buy Gut Feelings on Amazon
The Judges’ Special Award
The Judges’ Special Award was awarded to The Henna Wars by Adiba Jaigirdar. With wit and refreshing narrative, this début follows Irish-Bangladeshi teenager Nishat as she navigates first love, cultural appropriation and learns to reconcile her family’s expectations with her own identity.
The Henna Wars also won The KPMG Junior Juries’ Award, voted for by 100 Junior Juries of young readers throughout the country that read their way through the Awards shortlist.
The judges wish to recognise The Henna Wars as an important text for young readers, for its original portrayal of queer women of colour in Ireland.
Buy The Henna Wars on Amazon