Posts Tagged ‘ UNESCO ’

‘Children Save Dublin’: A One City One Book event for Dublin kids

As any parent knows, next week is the mid-term break and if any of you are searching for ideas to keep the children occupied then why not look at the events taking place to tie in with Dublin’s newest literary festival.

The festival, an initiative of UNESCO and Dublin City of Literature was launched on 17th January and it will run until the grand finale event at Connolly Station in March. But what is it all about? The event is a children’s version of the well-established One City One Book Readathon.  Children in 4th and 5th classes citywide are being encouraged to read, talk about and participate in activities around, one particular book.

First time author Alan Early’s Arthur Quinn and the World Serpent had the honour of being chosen by the organisers for this exciting event. Early’s book had previously also been shortlisted in the Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards 2011 so he has had an exciting few months. This book is part one of a planned trilogy, part two being well on the way to publication according to a recent interview with the author by .

The fast paced story is set in modern day Dublin, but with the not so modern addition of a Viking god on the loose. Three children, Arthur, Ash and Will have the rather daunting task of dealing with Loki and despatching him whence he came while at the same time dealing with a rather large monster. Cue perilous adventures in the city for the intrepid threesome.

Alan Early will be participating in events and workshops during the reading project and has set up an interactive web site and blog for his many readers. To compliment the author events, the ever popular Michael Moylan from Irish History Live will be running Viking themed events next week. Check out the links below for further information on the events hosted by Dublin libraries.

And watch out for giant serpents…


The Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards 2011

Voting is well underway in this year’s book awards and in fact you only have a few days left in which to make your choices as the voting closes on 13th November. There are ten categories in the awards each with six shortlisted titles (five in both of the children’s categories) from which to choose. The public can vote via the Bord Gáis Book Club site and are automatically entered into a prize draw for one of five €100 National Book Tokens. In tandem with this set of votes, the members of the Irish Literary Academy (comprising around 100 people connected to the book trade) receive ballot papers to make their selection. The eventual winners will be announced at a Gala Dinner and Awards Ceremony on November 17th at the RDS in Ballsbridge, Dublin. It promises to be another glittering literary occasion for the UNESCO City of Literature.

Apart from the headline sponsor Bord Gáis Energy there are sponsors for the different prize categories such as Specsavers who support the children’s awards and Ireland A. M. sponsoring the Crime Novel of the Year category. Within the book trade itself, Dublin based wholesaler Argosy is the Irish Non-Fiction award sponsor while Eason and Hughes and Hughes Booksellers take care of the Popular Fiction Award and the Irish Novel of the Year respectively. The concept of the Irish Book Awards actually has its origins in the Hughes and Hughes Irish Novel of the Year Award (inaugurated in 2000) which eventually expanded to include more categories and sponsors in 2006. Some sponsors have come and gone over the years but at present only the Sports Award lacks a sponsor as Club Energise Sport pulled out from the IBA. In these austere times the companies that do still sponsor such awards are to be commended for their contribution to Ireland’s cultural life.

A quick skim over the novels in the fiction categories shows the wealth of talent around at the moment, comprising both established authors (such as Anne Enright, Sebastian Barry, Shelia O’Flanagan and Patricia Scanlan) and newcomers such as Sarah Harte with her Celtic Tiger inspired novel The Better Half. The shortlisted non-fiction titles cover a wide range of topics and include sport, biography, the state of the nation and cookery books. There are too many great titles to mention them all here but here’s a quick taster: Orla Tinsley’s thought provoking memoir Salty Baby which is up for the Best Newcomer prize (sponsored by the Sunday Independent); the final part of Tim Robinson’s Connemara trilogy (Best Irish published category sponsored by the International Education Services) and How to be a Woman by Caitlin Moran (up for the John Murray Show Listeners’ Award).

If you haven’t got around to voting yet, take look at the Bord Gáis Awards page and read the list of contenders in more detail. Then take the plunge and make your choice. You never know, you may even win some book tokens in time for Christmas.