IT IS “disturbing and disappointing” that the Department of Education has cut the school book grant to schools and libraries in a move that will “limit young people’s access to books”, the chairwoman of Children’s Books Ireland has said.In other news, while we’re on the topic of YA crime fiction, Rafe McGregor and Adrian McKinty (right) had a fascinating exchange over at Rafe’s blog. To wit:
Jane O’Hanlon was speaking at the announcement yesterday of the winners of the Bisto Children’s Book of the Year Awards.
She described the department’s move as “retrogressive”, said it would “impact heavily on already overstretched schools and libraries”, and called for the decision to be reconsidered.
Yesterday’s ceremony in Dublin marked the 19th year of the Children’s Book Awards.
The top award for 2009 – the Bisto Book of the Year – went to the late Siobhan Dowd for BOG CHILD. The award was accepted by her sister Oona Emerson.
Dowd died in August 2007 at the age of 47 after a long illness.
The €10,000 prize money will be donated to the Siobhan Dowd Trust, which she established to help disadvantaged children improve their reading skills.
BOG CHILD is about a boy, Fergus, who while digging turf finds the body of a child in the bog.
Rafe: “What project are you currently working on?”YA Noir? From Adrian McKinty? Colour me intrigued, squire …
Adrian: “I’m working on a Young Adult novel provisionally called DARK ENERGY about a skateboard punk kid who moves to Colorado Springs.”
Rafe: “Your crime fiction is clearly aimed at an adult audience, so I was surprised to see that you also write YA. Can you tell me about your work in this genre and how you came to it?”
Adrian: “I had an idea for an initial novel about an emotionally damaged child who comes to Islandmagee (an area in Ireland very close to my heart) that I knew wasn’t appropriate as a crime novel so I wrote it as a YA and the one book eventually became three. The new YA however is a crime novel. It’s about a serial killer in a small town in Colorado, I’m calling it a YA noir. God alone knows if there’s a market for something like that, but that’s the story and I’m just telling it.”