The 2009 Tir na n-Og Awards

16 Apr 2009

The Welsh Books Council has announced the titles on the short list of the prestigious Tir na n-Og Awards 2009 which recognise the exceptional quality and range of books for children and teenagers.

The Awards are presented annually by the Books Council to acknowledge the work of authors and illustrators of children's books in three categories: the best English-language book, the best Welsh-language book for the primary sector and the best Welsh-language book for the secondary sector. The awards are sponsored by CILIP Wales (Chartered Institutes of Library and Information Professionals) and the Welsh Books Council.

The following titles have been nominated for this year's short list:

Best English-language Category

A Nod from Nelson  Simon Weston
(Pont Books)
A story for 7–11 year-olds about Nelson the horse, who find himself called out of retirement to head off an environmental disaster. Panel members felt that there was a completely fresh tone to this book which is beautifully produced with wonderful illustrations by Jac Jones.

Merlin's Magical Creatures  Graham Howells
(Pont Books)
A guide-book to the supernatural beings of Welsh legend, with a wonderful mix of curious creatures, including the good, the bad and the ugly. According to panel members, this book will appeal to and delight boys, girls and adults alike, and Graham Howells's wonderful artwork helps to bring the magical creature alive.

Swap  Malachy Doyle
(Pont Books)
A novel for 9–11 year-olds by a previous Tir na n-Og winner. Two boys, one Irish, one Welsh, change places and live life in each other's shoes. But changing places may be trickier than it seems. Swap is an excellent, well-paced novel, with a very modern element that will appeal to the young reader, with good use of text messaging.

Best Welsh-language Primary Category

Bownsio  Emily Huws
(Cymdeithas Lyfrau Ceredigion)
A novel for 10–11 year-old children by a previous Tir na n-Og winner about a teenage girl who discovers that her mother is not dead after all. According to panel members, this is a powerful story which breaks new ground.

Cerddi'n Cerdded  Gwyneth Glyn
(Gwasg Gomer)
An anthology of poems on a variation of themes by a former Children's Poet Laureate. Panel members commended the poet's various styles and use of words and felt that Mary Kilvert's illustrations complemented the poems.

Symud, Sam!  Jac Jones
(Gwasg Gomer)
A warm-hearted tale of rivalry and friendship between the family dog and a young member of the family. Panel members felt that this comical tale would have a definite appeal for young children and that the text and the illustrations complemented each other.

Best Welsh-language Secondary Category

Annwyl Smotyn Bach (Cyfres y Dderwen)  Lleucu Roberts
(Y Lolfa)
A novel for older teenagers set in the future in which Big Brother keeps an eye on everything; it tells the tale of a pregnant young woman who attempts to escape and break free from the regime. Panel members were of the opinion that this was a powerful and challenging novel which gave us an insight into the fate of our country.

Deryn Glân i Ganu (Cyfres y Dderwen)  Sonia Edwards
(Y Lolfa)
A collection of monologues for older teenagers, portraying different characters' views on the same events, all leading to an intense finale. Panel members felt that this book breaks new ground by discussing contemporary themes that young people can relate to.

Ffrindiau (Cyfres Whap!)  Gareth F. Williams
(Gwasg Gomer)
A new horror novel by a previous Tir na n-Og winner about the questions that puzzle an eleven-year-old girl when she visits her father. The boundary between reality and the spirit world overlaps in this novel and panel members felt that the author had succeeded in capturing the reader's imagination from the beginning.

The name of the winner of the English Award will be announced at CILIP Wales's annual conference in Llandrindod on Thursday, 21 May, and the winners of the Welsh Awards at the Urdd National Eisteddfod, Cardiff Bay, on Thursday, 28 May.

Menna Lloyd Williams, Head of the Children's Books Department at the Books Council, said 'The short-listed titles reflect the high standard of books of Welsh-interest published for children and young people today and also the variety of titles available.'

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