CBI Book of the Year Awards 2016


CBI Book of the Year Award winner is Sarah Crossan!


One by Sarah Crossan


Children's Books Ireland

Author Sarah Crossan has won the 26th CBI Book of the Year Award and is the fourth author ever to win both the Book of the Year Award and the Children’s Choice award for her title One. A novel as unique as its title suggests, One chronicles the story of Grace and Tippi, conjoined twins under constant medical and psychological care. At age sixteen when they can no longer afford to be homeschooled, they have to go to school for the first time and negotiate a world of prejudice, friendship, first love and gossip. The judges said ‘Crossan’s signature blend of lyricism and realism addresses complicated dynamics of family, identity, sisterhood and difference. Told in verse and in the first person, this elegant, sensitive story will stimulate reflections and conversations about discrimination, diversity, difficult choices and the bonds of love.’


The shortlisted titles:


One by Sarah Crossan

One by Sarah Crossan

The day the crayons came home

The Day the Crayons Came Home  illustrated by Oliver Jeffers

Imaginary Fred

Imaginary Fred written by Eoin Colfer, illustrated by Oliver Jeffers


Irelandopedia written by John Burke, illustrated by Fatti Burke

The boy at the top of the mountain

The Boy at the Top of the  by John Boyne

Asking for it

Asking for It by Louise O’Neill


Gulliver illustrated by Lauren O’Neill

The wordsmithThe Wordsmith by Patricia Forde

Ná Gabh ar Scoil written by Máire Zepf, illustrated by Tarsila Krüse





Founded in 1990, The CBI Book of the Year Awards are the leading children’s book awards in Ireland. They are a celebration of excellence in children’s literature and illustration and are open to books for all ages written in English or Irish by authors and illustrators born or resident in Ireland and published between 1st January and 31st December each year. Previous winners include Oliver Jeffers for Once Upon an Alphabet, John Boyne for The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas; Sheena Wilkinson for Grounded, Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick for There and Hagwitch and Kate Thompson for The New Policeman, Annan Water and The Alchemist’s Apprentice.

Dr Patricia Kennon, chair of the judging panel that read almost 80 titles, said: ‘The nine shortlisted titles take us on a imaginative journey around Ireland and beyond, showcasing the range of excellent books being created by Irish authors and illustrators. These books span a wide range of ages from incredibly engaging picturebooks to hard-hitting, thought-provoking novels for teenagers and young adults, in both languages. The members of the judging panel and I very much enjoyed the opportunity to explore and celebrate the best of contemporary Irish children’s publishing.’

Children’s Books Ireland (CBI), which administers the awards, will again be working closely with reading groups from schools, libraries and bookshops across the island of Ireland. These young readers will choose the winner of the Children’s Choice Award. Reading groups nationwide are invited to sign up for the shadowing scheme to be in with a chance of receiving free copies of all 9 shortlisted titles via www.childrensbooksireland.ie. Five other awards will be made in May also – The Book of the Year Award, Honour Awards for Fiction and Illustration, the Eilís Dillon award for a first children’s book and the Judges’ Special Award.

Jenny Murray, Acting Director at CBI said ‘At Children’s Books Ireland our mission is to make books a part of every child’s life. With this year’s shortlist, CBI is honoured to be able to highlight the very best that Irish authors and illustrators have to offer it is particularly satisfying to note that of the nine shortlisted titles, four are Irish published. This list includes children’s books for all ages covering titles that are challenging, informative, uplifting and funny. They are truly world-class in their quality. We know that young readers nationwide will enjoy this selection’

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