Showing posts from May, 2013

Young Sherlock Holmes Author Andrew Lane Drops By...

A big, big thank you goes out to Young Sherlock Holmes author Andrew Lane, who really made my day by dropping by Dubray Books Galway location and patiently signing all his books. I'm a big fan of the Young Sherlock Holmes series and was thrilled a) to meet Andrew, b) talk all things Sherlock Holmes, Victorian England and writing a thrilling series and c) to find out the the sixth book in the series, Knife Edge, will be out in October.... and it's set in Galway!!!!! So, keep watching here for upcoming news. We may have something very special for all you Galway fans.

As I said, the next in the series will be available in October. With summer holidays looming ever closer, it's the perfect time to catch up on your Young Sherlock reading. You don't want to be left short when the new one arrives. This series features Sherlock as a school boy and, not only are they great adventure/mysteries, but you get a good look at the events and circumstances that lead up to Sherlock bei…

Guardian Children's Fiction Prize 2013

Hot off the heals of the fabulous CBI conference and the awards are coming up! Phew! There's hardly a moment to breathe! The announcement of the eight entry strong longlist for the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize came today, and it is amazing! War, dystopia, terminal illness, family crisis .... all and more figure prominently in a list that is not only packed with drama, but also with humour, humanity and delight. The writing in each book is strong and assured, and the stories are incredible.
Here's the list:
The Boy Who Swam With Piranhas by David Almond
After Tomorrow by Gillian Cross
Maggot Moon by Sally Gardner
The Fault In Our Stars by John Green
Rooftoppers by Katherine Rundell
Liar and Spy by Rebecca Stead
The Wall by William Sutcliffe.... and
A World Between Us by Lydia Syson

AND... if you are aged 17 or under, you can enter the Young Criti…

Rebels and Rule-Breakers.. CBI conference 2013

Just a quick post here.... what a brilliant weekend we had in Dublin for the CBI conference...Rebels & Rule-Breakers. As per usual, it was a weekend of good company, phenomenal speakers and brilliant, brilliant children's books. And, as per usual, Children's Books Ireland out-did themselves AGAIN! I really didn't want to leave. Here's a few photos....

And on Day 2.....

CBI Book of the Year Award Winners 2013!

A huge congratulations to Sheena Wilkinson, whose brilliant book Grounded has won the 23rd CBI Book of the Year Award! AND, not only has Sheena taken the overall book of the year award, but she is the second ever author to win this along with the Children's Choice Award. " Grounded is the sequel to Taking Flight, which on both the CBI Honour Award for fiction and the Children's Choice Award in 2011.
The judges said that the books' "‘this powerful first person narrative is an unsentimental account of a teenager trying to cope with a series of unexpected responsibilities, and explores the effects of caring too much and of caring too little.
Now.... on to the other award winners for 2013:
The Eilís Dillon Award is awarded to a first time author or illustrator. The award in this category went toThe Weight of Waterby Sarah Crossan. Written in first-person narrative verse, this stunning coming-of-age novel deals with all the isolation, loneliness and confusion felt b…

CBI Book of the Year Awards...almost

We are all anxiously awaiting word.... who will win the CBI Book of the Year Awards 2013. Fortunately, we don't have much longer.... the announcement of the most prestigious book awards for excellence in children's literature will be announced tomorrow!
Before we go any further, here's a quick reminder of the shortlist:
OH NO GEORGE, by Chris Haughton
Publisher: Walker (London)
ISBN: 978-1406332254 (HBK)
THE WEIGHT OF WATER by Sarah Crossan
Publisher: Bloomsbury (London)
ISBN: 978-1408830239 (PBK)
HÓNG by Anna Heussaff
Publisher: Cló Iar-Chonnacht (Galway)
ISBN: 978-909367616 (PBK)
DARK WARNING by Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick
Publisher: Orion (London)
ISBN: 978-1842556788 (PBK)
GROUNDED by Sheena Wilkinson
Publisher: Little Island (Dublin)
ISBN: 978-1908195173 (PBK)
NA LAOCHRA IS LÚ le Laoise Ní Chléirigh agus Steve Simpson (illus.)
Publisher: An Gum (Dublin)
ISBN: 978-1857910988 (PBK)

The Sleeping Baobab Tree

As I had posted a couple of days ago, a big and hearty congratulations to my dear friend Paula Leyden upon the book birthday of her new The Sleeping Baobab Tree. There was a wonderful launch party (which I missed due to being hard at work in the Galway branch of Dubray Books) held at Stonehouse Books in Kilkenny.

And I just wanted to share with you all this brilliant cake (!!!!!)

Now THAT'S how to have a launch party. (Sorry... I'm always excited about cake... especially when they look like this... gorgeous and totally fitting the occasion.) I hope no one minds my pinching the cake photo (from Paula's own website: and just to keep everything clear; the cake was made by the obviously amazing Nicky Read of Nicky's Cakes ( ) Hopefully, that squares everything.
On to other matters about The Sleeping Baobab Tree... you'll find my review up on the Irish Books, Authors …

Happy Book Birthday to 2 Great Books!

I just wanted to wish a very, very Happy Book Birthday to two wonderful new books and a hearty congratulations to their authors!
First of all, Happy Book Birthday to Wendy Quill is a Crocodile's Bottom; written by Wendy Meddour (A Hen in the Wardrobe... now nominated for the Branford Boase Award 2013, and The Black Cat Detectives) with illustrations by Mina May, Wendy's 12 year-old daughter who proves herself to be just as professional and talented as the grown-ups! I should also mention that Wendy Quill is a Crocodile's Bottom has been selected by Dubray Books for their Children's Book of the Month for May!

And for a big Happy Book Birthday number two, one of my other very favourite authors, Paula Leyden has released her new book, The Sleeping Baobab Tree, today. In this book, we return to Zambia and meet up again with twins Bul-Boo and Madillo and next-door neighbor Fred as they travel to Ng'ombe Ilede - the place of death. Filled…

Welcome to May! (and book memories....)

Welcome May! For the first time in a very long time, it almost felt like summer in Galway... absolutely beautiful, sun shining and warm! So many thoughts were turning to outside activities; gardening, cycling or just lying around soaking up the sun. (Well, in fairness, it's so seldom bright, sunny and warm....) And me.... well, my thoughts were turning towards.... books. I had a sudden childhood memory come back to me that I'd like to share that says something about me, children's books and being a children's bookseller... and the affect putting the right book at the right time into the hands of the right child can have throughout their life. I think so, anyway.
It was the first of May. I was just a small child; I think about 4 or 5 years old and had gone shopping with my mother. We were in 'People's Drug Store, which had a wonderful 2 aisle treasure trove for children.... cheap plastic toys, jars of 'bubbles' in various collurs and sizes, packets of b…