Sunday, November 30, 2008

Amazing Irish Books!

I recently read several YA novels that were simply amazing. They were sent to me in a lovely care package by Irish YA author, Jane Mitchell, whom I met in L.A. last summer. She and I have a great fondness for YA (young adult) novels, so we agreed to send each other a box of our country's favourite YA books. Receiving her box, was like an early, very exciting, Christmas present.

First, I read her novel: When Stars Stop Spinning, a book that won her country's Bisto Irish Book of the Year Award. It was the touching story of Tony, who lands in a rehabilitation hospital with severe head injuries after a joyriding accident, and how he makes friends with a gifted musician, Stephen, who is dying of a wasting disease. It was a lovely, moving story.

Next, I read: A Swift Pure Cry, by Siobhan Dowd, a gifted author who passed away from cancer after writing only 3 books, one being published posthumously. A Swift Pure Cry is the achingly beautiful telling of a tragic situation a young Irish girl finds herself in. The story is full of Irish references and expressions and is one of the best books I've read all year. I highly recommend it!

And, the third book from the Irish box, is Keeper by Mal Peet. It is a wonderful story of a poor, awkward South American boy who becomes the world's greatest goal keeper. The book is full of magic realism and vivid imagery, and is far more than simply a book about soccer. It was haunting and beautifully told.

More to come as I read through the rest of the books. It's been a fantastic reading experience!

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