Night Shift by Debi Gliori

Night Shift

Written by Debi Gliori
Illustrated by Debi Gliori

11+ readers   Carnegie Greenaway   13+ readers   

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Shortlisted for the CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal 2018 | Drawn from Debi's own experiences and with a moving testimony at the end of the book explaining how depression has affected her and how she continues to cope, Debi hopes that by sharing her own experience she can help others who suffer from depression, and to find that subtle shift that will show the way out.

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Night Shift by Debi Gliori

A groundbreaking picture book on depression with stunning illustrations. With stunning black and white illustration and deceptively simple text, author and illustrator Debi Gliori examines how depression affects one's whole outlook upon life, and shows that there can be an escape - it may not be easy to find, but it is there.

'I have used dragons to represent depression. This is partly because of their legendary ability to turn a once fertile realm into a blackened, smoking ruin and partly because popular mythology shows them as monstrous opponents with a tendency to pick fights with smaller creatures. I'm not particularly brave or resourceful, and after so many years battling my beasts, I have to admit to a certain weariness, but I will arm-wrestle dragons for eternity if it means that I can help anyone going through a similar struggle.'


Debi Gliori is amazing. Her pictures offer people an insight into depression that words often struggle to reach. She makes visible the invisible. And I for one want to thank her for that. - Matt Haig, bestselling author of Reasons to Stay Alive

I cannot recommend this beautiful picture book about depression by Debi Gliori highly enough. It's a masterpiece. - David Walliams, bestselling children's author

I'm not sure how to review Night Shift without making it personal. Stories that focus on depression are, much like depression themselves, deeply personal. I can't read this book, look at the illustrations, without making comparisons to my own experiences. So sometimes I will think yes this is me and other times no I don't feel like that . Depression is unique to the individual and while traits can be shared or similar for many I don't think it's possible for one story to ever be universal. This might come across as negative but it really isn't. Debi Gliori's has written and drawn a beautiful and dark map. It is because of the illustrations (which I think have a bigger impact because they aren't tied down by words) that this book connects so much. Night Shift is very effective and for a book so contained it's powerful. Luna's Little Library

In only a few pages, with beautiful black and white drawings, Gliori brings home the misery of her existence in the grip of depression. Much like Haig's book, it helps convey how it feels to be depressed. The unrelenting nature of it, the desperate feeling that nothing matters. The book has a hopeful, forward-looking ending. It's perfect to give to somebody when you can't put into words how you are feeling. Geek Dad

I thought this was a beautiful, brave and poetic book. With exquisite brevity, Debi Gliori articulates the struggle of living with depression, in stunning black and white illustrations, punctuated by a single burst of the dragon of depression's fire. Books like this are immensely important, so that the many children, teenagers and adults going through similar night journeys through the fog of illness, can feel that they are not alone in their struggles. The spread where 'something shifted and the depression lifts, is moving beyond words. Cressida Cowell

A hugely personal book drawn from Debi's own experiences, and putting her amazing writing and illustration skills to brilliant use. Do not miss this one. It's a vital addition to your bookshelf Read it Daddy

a beautiful and important picture book for older readers...this is a book that instantly feels special and appropriate to the subject. A poignant, empathetic and ultimately hopeful book School Library Journal

it finishes with a little message of hope that the depression will not last forever as she stops seeing dragons but starts to see seabirds flying overhead instead. Despite its small size and only taking a few minutes to read, the book is quite a powerful and moving personal expression of depression and a worthwhile quick read. British Journal of General Practice

Gliori uses stark language and somber charcoal-like artwork to reflect on the weight and intensity of depression. Publishers Weekly

A picture book about depression? Sounds like a terrible idea, but Gliori's slim volume vividly elucidates her dragons and the night skills she uses to cope. People Magazine

In a small-format picture book aimed at a teenage and adult audience, Gliori (Side by Side) uses stark language and somber charcoal-like artwork to reflect on the weight and intensity of depression Publishers Weekly

Night Shift by Debi Gliori is an impressive, well considered articulation of what it means and how it feels to be depressed. A sophisticated picture book forged from fog, shaped from shadows and drawn out of darkness, it gives voice to that which often remains voiceless and can isolate. Listlessness and lack of colour is captured by the black and white illustrations, punctuated occasionally by volatile red. There's a looming, oppressive mood as muscular, hollow-eyed dragons - almost parasitic in nature - become metaphors for the condition. The triumph of the book is the way it uses verbal and visual language to shine a light onto the condition, enabling this to be better explained, shared and to contribute an endpoint to some of the loneliness and stigma that often accompanies it, offering some hope without losing power or falling into platitudes Books For Keeps

About the Author

Debi Gliori

Debi started writing children's books in 1976, then attended art school in Edinburgh from 1979 to 1984. She received a travelling scholarship award to go to Milan, and worked as a freelance from 1984 onwards. She lives and works in Scotland, and her studio is situated in a thirteenth-century herb garden. She now has four children and her book No Matter What is dedicated to them. Debi Gliori is the author/illustrator of many books for children including Mr Bear, the winner of a Children's Book Award.

DEBI GLIORI is the award-winning author and illustrator of many Bloomsbury picture books including the Alfie series, The Trouble with Dragons, Dragon Love Penguin and the bestselling No Matter What. She has sold more than half a million books in the UK alone.

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Book Info


32 pages


Debi Gliori
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Hot Key Books

Publication date

12th January 2017




Publisher Profile

Hot Key Books is an imprint of Hot Key

logo Hot Key Books, a division of Bonnier Publishing, publish stand out, quality fiction, for 9 – 19 year olds, print and digital that people like to talk about. If you are looking for something a little bit different from your books, something a little bit special then Hot Key Books may well have just what you want.

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