Deliciously Sweet Pizza

11 May 2017

Author G. R. Gemin wins the Tir na n-Og children's literature award for the second time!

Cardiff-raised author Giancarlo Gemin has scooped the annual Tir na n-Og Award for the second time.

Organised by the Welsh Books Council, the awards celebrate the best English-language title with an authentic Welsh background. In a prestigious event to be held at Llandudno Library on 11 May, this year's award will be presented to Giancarlo Gemin for his second novel,  Sweet Pizza,  published by Nosy Crow.

Sweet Pizza  is the funny yet moving story of 14-year-old Joe, a fourth generation descendant of Italian immigrants to south Wales. The story effectively interweaves Joe's current problems concerning his family's increasingly dilapidated cafe and the plight of his grandfather Beppe. His grandfather's World War II experiences, based on the true events of the  SS Arandora Star  which was torpedoed en route to Canada during the war, are cleverly voiced in flashback fashion through tape recordings as he recovers from a stroke in hospital.

The panel of judges agreed that  Sweet Pizza  skilfully deals with aspects of contemporary life in Wales, and is brimming with personality.

John Humphreys, Chair of the Tir na n-Og English-language Panel, stated of the winner, "Giancarlo Gemin effectively engages the reader in this feel good novel with a strong storyline and well drawn characters. A notable feature of the novel is the emphasis on how problems can be overcome when working together."

Giancarlo Gemin said, "I'm delighted to win the Tir na n-Og Award for the second time! It's great for me to win this important prize. I'm very moved and proud to receive such an acknowledgement from my native country."

The Tir na n-Og English-language Award  – which recognises the exceptional quality of books with a Welsh background for children and young adults  – is sponsored by CILIP Wales (The Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals).

The winning titles in the Primary and Secondary Welsh-language categories will be revealed on 1 June at the 2017 Urdd National Eisteddfod at Bridgend.

According to Helgard Krause, Chief Executive of the Welsh Books Council, "There was a wealth of books to be considered for this year's Tir na n-Og Award, reflecting the quality and range of books available for children and young adults. It is with great pleasure that we warmly congratulate Giancarlo Gemin and Nosy Crow on their achievement."

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