More books by Siobhan Dowd
PublisherRandom House Children's Books
Suitable for AgesFeatured Books for 11+ readers
Featured Books for 13+ readers
Children's Book Awards - Shortlists and Winners
Publication date5th February 2009
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Julia Eccleshare's comment:
Winner of Carnegie Award 2009 and the Bisto Irish Children's Book Award 2009 and shortlisted for the . New and challenging book full of mystery and shadows from recently deceased author Siobhan Dowd. Both terrifying and fascinating from the start, Bog Child is a must-read for 2009. The plot follows Fergus a boy who finds the body of a child, and it looks like she's been murdered. All of a sudden a little voice is coming to him in his dreams, and Fergus must cope with getting caught up in further troubles around his home of Northern Ireland.
What the Carnegie Award judges said:
'This is a beautifully written and controlled novel, strong on dialogue but with some beautiful descriptive phrases as well. The dual narrative is deftly done and Dowd is very good on family relationships and the atmosphere of the times. The ending is satisfying, and the whole believable and unflinching.'
From Siobhan Dowd:
'The protagonists in my stories aren’t human rights heroes in the conventional sense. They are ordinary people living in England and Ireland who find extraordinary ways to overcome the difficulties in their lives and for me that’s the essence of any good story: it’s where the ordinary meets the extraordinary.'
From David Fickling, the author's publisher:
'In 2007 Siobhan Dowd was voted one of the twenty-five British writers for the future (only three were children’s writers). Siobhan is still very much a writer for the future. Everybody should read her.'
Siobhan sadly only wrote 4 books in total before her tragic death from cancer in 2007. They are Solace of the Road, Bog Child, A Swift Pure Cry and The London Eye Mystery but her memory lives on in a Trust that has been set up in her name as well as through her writing.
Every penny of royalties from Siobhan's book sales go to the trust that has been set up in her memory - www.siobhandowdtrust.org
Who is Julia Eccleshare ?
SynopsisBog Child by Siobhan Dowd
Two years after her untimely death from breast cancer at the age of 47, Siobhan Dowd’s fourth and final novel, ‘Bog Child’, has been awarded the UK’s premier accolade for children’s writing.
“This is the greatest endorsement of the quality of Siobhan’s writing yet,” comments her editor and publisher, David Fickling, “The CILIP Carnegie Medal has real integrity and is unique amongst literary awards: there is no prize money; it does not reflect the commercial interests of publishers and book-sellers; it does not depend on votes or the celebrity status of the author. Judged by librarians who spend their lives connecting young people to good writing it is the purest recognition of quality writing for children.”
Set in Northern Ireland at the height of the Troubles, the story opens in 1981 close to the North-South border as teenager Fergus McCann makes an illicit raid to the South to gather peat and discovers a child’s body buried in the bogs, perfectly preserved for 2,000 years. The child’s history unfolds as Fergus struggles with the challenges of being a teenager as well as the pressure on him to take sides in the conflict.
“Set against the bleakest of backdrops, ‘Bog Child’ is profoundly heartwarming,” comments Chair of the Judges, Joy Court, “This is thanks to Dowd’s extraordinary ability to illuminate the dark corners of human existence. The reader is drawn totally into Fergus’s world; the turbulence of adolescence is vividly portrayed and equally vividly evoked is the political conflict of the time. A truly outstanding novel of great humanity.”
About The Author
'The protagonists in my stories aren’t human rights heroes in the conventional sense. They are ordinary people living in England and Ireland who find extraordinary ways to overcome the difficulties in their lives and for me that’s the essence of any good story: it’s where the ordinary meets the extraordinary.' – Siobhan Dowd
'In 2007 Siobhan Dowd was voted one of the twenty-five British writers for the future (only three were children’s writers). Everybody should read her.' –David Fickling, the author's publisher
Siobhan Dowd was born in London to Irish parents. She spent much of her youth visiting the family cottage in Aglish, County Waterford, and later the family home in Wicklow Town and went on to study Classics at Oxford.
A Swift Pure Cry, Siobhan's first novel, was published by David Fickling Books, in March 2006. In May 2007 it won many children’s book awards including the prestigious Brandford Boase Award. Her second novel, The London Eye Mystery, was published by David Fickling Books on 7 June 2007. Two further novels were published posthumously in 2008 and 2009, Bog Child, appeared in February 2008, and her fourth novel, Solace of the Road, in February 2009. The former won the prestigious Carnegie Medal.
Tragically, Siobhan died at the age of 47, in August 2007; she had been receiving treatment for advanced breast cancer for three years. Her memory lives on in The Siobhan Dowd Trust, set up to help disadvantaged children in the UK and Ireland discover and experience the joy of reading. Although she was ill, Siobhan personally and energetically supervised its foundation; it was one of the very last things on her mind and clearly, for her, the most pressing cause in our society today.
Siobhan was a writing phenomenon: discovering that she was fatally ill, she put pen to paper and produced four of the most remarkable novels for children you could wish for. Her loss to the world of children’s writing is a tragedy. But it is utterly characteristic that Siobhan should, at the end, put her mind unerringly to the most deserving group of all: the young reader. Siobhan realized that our literary culture - critics, bookshops, agents, publishing, libraries, schools - depends ultimately on the reader. And, of readers, the young reader is the most vulnerable. And amongst young readers, the disadvantaged young reader is the most deprived of all. Siobhan, at the last, and with all her usual clarity, decided to help them. And you can help them too.
The aims of the Trust are simple and direct:
To take stories to our children without stories.
To bring the joy of reading to our children deprived of reading.
To bring books to our children deprived of books.
To fund disadvantaged readers where there is no funding, and to support disadvantaged readers where there is no support.
To fund and support any persons or organisations who help disadvantaged young readers.
The Trustees believe that the best and truest way faithfully to observe Siobhan’s last wish is to invite applications from persons or organisations in the UK or Ireland who need funding to directly help disadvantaged young readers. The Trustees will take a few months to consider and evaluate applications and then begin to disburse awards in the way that best seems to follow Siobhan’s wishes.
By the terms of Siobhan’s will, all royalty income derived from her published novels and any posthumously published work will go to the Trust.
The Trustees believe that Siobhan’s generosity will be the seed of something much larger, and so the Trust also welcomes donations from the public. The aspiration is to help as many disadvantaged young people as possible.
The Trustees are in no doubt of the importance of this bequest and its fundamental urgency for our children and for the future culture of the British Isles and Ireland. We may think we live in a literate society but, as Siobhan was well aware, there are too many places in our own ‘house’ where children are denied the opportunity to read. This is a charity that must begin at home, a home that, like Siobhan’s life, spans both sides of the Irish Sea.
The Siobhan Dowd Trust Books
A Swift Pure Cry
The London Eye Mystery
Solace of the Road
Please log on to www.siobhandowdtrust.com for more details about the Trust, about how to donate and about how to apply for support.
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