CBI Book of the Year Award

CBI Book of the Year Award logo

CBI Book of the Year Award

CBI Book of the Year Award logo

The CBI Book of the Year Awards (Duaiseanna Leabhair na Bliana CBI, in Irish), previously known as the Bisto Book of the Year Awards, are literary awards presented annually in the Republic of Ireland to writers and illustrators of books for children and young people. The Awards are run by Children’s Books Ireland (CBI) and are open to authors and illustrators born or resident in Ireland; books may be written in English or Irish.

Prizes are awarded in three categories:

  • CBI Book of the Year Award;
  • Eilís Dillon Award for a First Children’s Book;
  • three Merit Awards.

Below are the winners of the CBI Book of the Year Award – enjoy!

2018
Tangleweed and Brine – Deirdre Sullivan, Karen Vaughan (illustrator)

A collection of thirteen dark, feminist retellings of traditional fairytales that follow in the tradition of Angela Carter; stories from Cinderella to Rumpelstiltskin, tales of mermaids and monsters, are given a unique witchy makeover.

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2017
Goodnight Everyone – Chris Haughton

In this stunningly illustrated bedtime book, perfect for the end of the day, a series of exquisitely coloured cut pages of increasing size introduce woodland families – bears, deer, rabbits and teeny, tiny mice – who are all beginning to feel really… rather… tired… YAWN!
“Dear me,” says Great Big Bear, “it must be time for bed!” But Little Bear is certainly not sleepy – he’s wide awake! (For now…)
With sublime, starry night time scenes and an infectious yawny “Good night” refrain, Chris Haughton creates a lulling bedtime read, perfect for parents and children to share together.

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2016
One – Sarah Crossan

Grace and Tippi don’t like being stared and sneered at, but they’re used to it. They’re conjoined twins – united in blood and bone. What they want is to be looked at in turn, like they truly are two people. They want real friends. And what about love? But a heart-wrenching decision lies ahead for Tippi and Grace. One that could change their lives more than they ever asked for… This moving and beautifully crafted novel about identity, sisterhood and love ultimately asks one question: what does it mean to want and have a soulmate?

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2015
Once Upon an Alphabet – Oliver Jeffers

The letters of our alphabet work tirelessly to make words that in turn make stories, but what if there was a story FOR each of the letters instead? Turn the pages of this exquisite book to find out… Here you will discover twenty-six short stories introducing a host of new characters (plus the occasional familiar face). From Edmund the astronaut with his awkward fear of heights, via the dynamic new investigative duo of the Owl and the Octopus, through to the Zeppelin that just might get Edmund a little bit closer to where he needs to be, this book is packed with funny, thrilling, perilous and above all entertaining tales inspired by every letter in the alphabet.

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2014
Hagwitch – Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick

London, 1596 and 2010. Two lives, four centuries apart, but with a dark secret that ties them together. It’s summer, and the vibrant world of the theatre barge is coming to life. It’s Lally’s world and the only one she’s ever known. But when her father pulls an ancient piece of wood from the canal and fashions it into a puppet, strange things begin to happen. Soon Lally starts to wonder whether there is something sinister about the wooden doll – could she be connected to the mysterious hagwitch? A gripping tale of myth, magic and the secret world of the theatre.

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2013
Grounded – Sheena Wilkinson

Declan loves Seaneen, but his ambition to work at a top showjumping yard is stronger than anything he’s ever felt before. So when Declan is offered his dream job in Germany, he should be thrilled. There’s nothing for him at home but dark history he’d rather forget. But he’s terrified: leaving Seaneen’s harder than he expected; troubled hood Cian won’t leave him alone, and when he finds a traumatised horse in a derelict barn, he knows he has to help her. No matter how scared he is.

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2012

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Into the Grey – Celine Kiernan

My name is Patrick Finnerty. I am fifteen and I’m losing my brother. A ghost is stealing him away. I know how crazy that sounds. But my brother, my twin, is going to die; I’m watching him die. No one else can see what’s happening. What can I do? The answers seem to lie within the memory of a dream – between this world and the next. Within The Grey. But I don’t want to go into The Grey. I don’t want to. I’ve seen what it’s like…

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2011
A Bit Lost – Chris Haughton

This is the heart-warming story of Little Owl – who must be more careful when he is sleeping…
Uh-oh! He has fallen from his nest, and with a bump he lands on the ground. Where is his mummy? With the help of his new friend Squirrel, Little Owl sets off in search of her, and meets a sequence of other animals. Yet while one might have his mummy’s big eyes, and another her pointy ears, they are simply not her. Chris Haughton’s striking colour illustrations follow Little Owl on his quest. Which of his new friends will lead him back to his mummy?

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2010
There – Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick

When will I get There? How will I know? A little girl ponders what the future holds, steadfast in her determination to find out for herself. Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick’s gorgeous landscapes and her briefest of text speak to the power of imagination. Readers of all ages will find reassurance in this simple, beautiful book of ruminations about a lifelong journey toward tomorrow.

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2009
Bog Child – Siobhan Dowd

Digging for peat in the mountain with his Uncle Tally, Fergus finds the body of a child, and it looks like she’s been murdered. As Fergus tries to make sense of the mad world around him–his brother on hunger-strike in prison, his growing feelings for Cora, his parents arguing over the Troubles, and him in it up to the neck, blackmailed into acting as courier to God knows what – a little voice comes to him in his dreams, and the mystery of the bog child unfurls…

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2008
The London Eye Mystery – Siobhan Dowd

11.32am. Ted and his sister Kat watch their cousin Salim get on board the London Eye. The pod rises from the ground, high above the city.12.02am. The pod lands and the doors open. Everyone exits – everyone but Salim.Has he spontaneously combusted? (Ted’s theory.)Has he been kidnapped? (Aunt Gloria’s theory.)Is he even still alive? (The family’s unspoken fear.)Even the police are baffled – so it’s up to Ted, whose brain runs on its own unique operating system, to solve this mystery and find Salim. Teaming up with Kat, Ted follows a trail of clues across London – while time ticks dangerously by…

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2007
The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas – John Boyne

The story of The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas is very difficult to describe. Usually we give some clues about the book on the cover, but in this case we think that would spoil the reading of the book. We think it is important that you start to read without knowing what it is about.
If you do start to read this book, you will go on a journey with a nine-year-old boy called Bruno. And sooner or later you will arrive with Bruno at a fence.
We hope you never have to cross such a fence.

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2006
The New Policeman – Kate Thompson

Everyone in Kinvara is conscious that time is flying past, faster and faster – to such an extent that when JJ asks his mother what she would like as a birthday present she ask for more time. JJ dismisses this as mere wishful thinking, an impossibility, for who know where the time goes?
The Liddys have been musicians for generations and JJ is no exception but what he discovers is that a shadow from the past hangs over their family -did his great-grandfather murder the village priest? When he sets out to buy his mother time, he discovers the fate of a flute which will provide the key to both problems – it is the vital clue. He makes the transition to Tir na n’Og, the land of eternal youth, where the fairy people are also having a problem with time and it falls to his lot to locate the leak between the two parallel worlds. JJ finds where time goes!
Music proves to be the touchstone for communication between the fairy and the human domains and the book is saturated with the lure of Irish music for JJ`s whole existence is built round the ceili and each chapter relates to a tune, printed out as a heading so that the reader can also become a performer. As for the New Policeman, Larry O’Dwyer, he is an enigmatic figure who has a significant bearing on the plot but whose identity is kept a superbly guarded secret to the very last surprising moment.

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2005
Annan Water – Kate Thompson

As he rides along the unknown green lane, Michael finds a brief respite from the pressures of school and his family’s horse-dealing business. At the end of the lane he meets Annie, who brings colour and warmth into his troubled life. But is she, as she believes herself to be, bad luck? Between her home and Michael’s lies Annan Water, a deep and mysterious river. In its dark past, it seems as though the story of their love for each other might already have been told.

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2004
Wings over Delft – Aubrey Flegg

As the daughter of a wealthy Dutch family, Louise Eeden knows that certain things are expected of her. When her father commissions a famous artist to paint her portrait, she reluctantly agrees.
But lately things have started to move too fast in her life. Somehow everyone believes she is engaged to Reynier de Vries; a marriage that will bring about the merger of two respected pottery businesses.In the studio with Master Haitink and his gangly apprentice, Pieter, Louise unexpectedly finds freedom to be herself.
But someone has been watching her every move, and her deepening friendship with Pieter has not gone unnoticed. Behind the scenes, a web of treachery and deceit is gradually unravelling, leading to a brutal and shocking confrontation.
And fate has yet another surprise in store for Louise Eeden.

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2003
You Me And The Big Blue Sea – Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick

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The Alchemist’s Apprentice – Kate Thompson

The Alchemist’s Apprentice tells the rags-to-riches story of Jack, the blacksmith’s boy. Jack’s quest leads him on a quixotic set of travels which have a rollicking ‘Tom Jones’ feel to them. Eventually after both hardship and luxury, Jack finds himself with the alchemist himself dabbling in alchemy until finally he holds in his hand the precious and long awaited nugget but by that time, of course, it is too late. For the marvels of life cannot be bought.

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2002
The Beguilers – Kate Thompson

There is a dire warning never to peep out at them. There are stories of people who succumbed to their voices and walked out into the night, never to be seen again. But Rilka, frustrated by the culture of her people, is determined to catch a Beguiler and solve the mystery of their existence and so she embarks on an adventure that will change her life, and the lives of those around her, for ever. This novel confirms Kate Thompson’s position as a writer of rare imagination and power.

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2001
Izzy And Skunk – Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick

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2000
Faraway Home – Marilyn Taylor

Karl and Rosa’s family watch in horror as Hitler’s troops parade down the streets of their home city — Vienna. It has become very dangerous to be a Jew in Austria, and after their uncle is sent to Dachau, Karl and Rosa’s parents decide to send the children out of the country on a Kindertransport, one of the many ships carrying refugee children away from Nazi danger.
Isolated and homesick, Karl ends up in Millisle, a run-down farm in Ards in Northern Ireland, which has become a Jewish refugee centre, while Rosa is fostered by a local family.
Hard work on the farm keeps Karl occupied, although he still waits desperately for any news from home. Then he makes friends with locals Peewee and Wee Billy, and also with the girls from neutral Dublin who come to help on the farm, especially Judy. But Northern Ireland is in the war too, with rationing and air-raid warnings, and, in April 1941 the bombs of the Belfast Blitz bring the reality of war right to their doorstep.
And for Karl and Rosa and the other refugees there is the constant fear that they may never see their parents again.

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1999
Tales of Wisdom & Wonder – Hugh Lupton, Niamh Sharkey (illustrator)

How can a blind man see more than his companion, the hunter? And how do fishes find themselves swimming in the grass of a forest? Nothing is quite as it seems in this unusual collection of tales from around the world. Beautifully captured by Niamh Sharkey’s quirky and perceptive illustrations, these tales remind us of how vast and mysterious our world is, and how our lives can be transformed in the most unexpected circumstances.

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1998
Dream Invader – Gerard Whelan

When Saskia goes to stay with her uncle and aunt she finds them worried about her little cousin Simon, who is having terrible dreams. Something strange is definitely going on and it seems to be centred on Simon’s car-shaped bed that once belonged to another little boy.
Then an old woman enters the scene. The forces of good and evil fight for control over the child while Saskia watches the horrible events unfold.

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1997
Sisters… No Way! – Siobhan Parkinson

Cindy, a with-it and cynical young teen, still traumatised by her mother’s recent death, is appalled when her father falls in love with one of her teachers, a woman with two teenage daughters of her own. Surely he can’t be serious? She cannot imagine a worse fate than having a teacher as her stepmother, and as for the two prissy girls – she is never going to call them sisters … no way!
But, if Cindy dislikes her prospective stepsisters, they think she is an absolute horror – spoiled, arrogant and atrociously rude to them and their mother when they visit her house. Whatever about their mother marrying again, they can’t imagine being landed with Cindy as a sister … no way!
But the parents are going to marry, and the girls are going to be family, like it or not. So who gives in? Is there any room for compromise? Will the unlikely trio of stepsisters ever change their minds about each other?
In a unique feature the girls’ stories are told in two separate back-to-back books, one for Cindy and the other for Ashling and Alva. The reader can choose which story to begin with, getting a very different viewpoint on the girls depending on whose side of the story they read first.

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1996
The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey – Susan Wojciechowski, P.J. Lynch (illustrator)

Jonathan Toomey is the best woodcarver in the valley, but he is always alone and never smiles. No one knows about the mementos of his lost wife and child that he keeps in an unopened drawer. But one early winter s day, a widow and her young son approach him with a gentle request that leads to a joyful miracle. The moving, lyrical tale, gloriously illustrated by P.J. Lynch, has been widely hailed as a true Christmas classic.

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1995
Blaeberry Sunday – Elizabeth O’Hara

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1994
When Stars Stop Spinning – Jane Mitchell

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1993
The Blue Horse – Marita Conlon-McKenna

Katie’s whole world is turned upside down when her family’s home is destroyed by fire. Everything they had is gone, and instead of pulling together it seems as though her family is falling apart. They move to a new house, to a school where nobody wants to know her, and Katie wonders just how many changes she can take. In her fight for acceptance and to keep the family together, she learns a lot about herself.

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1992
The Summer of Lily and Esme – John Quinn

No description available 🙁

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1991
The Island of Ghosts – Eilís Dillon

The Island of Ghosts is a haunting story that takes place on a remote island off the west coast of Ireland. When Dara and Brendan don’t return from their sailing trip with Mr Webb to the Island of Ghosts, everyone in the village assumes they have drowned, except their sisters Barbara and Cait. The two girls borrow a boat and set out to find their brothers, but they too become captives of Mr Webb on the island.

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When I have a little money, I buy books; and if I have any left, I buy food and clothes.
Erasmus