The Welsh Books Council has announced the titles on the shortlist of the prestigious Tir na n-Og Awards for 2014.
This year’s shortlisted titles for the Best English-language Book with an authentic Welsh background, as chosen by the awarding panel are:
Best English-language Book Category The Seven – Steve Gladwin (Pont) The Wild West Show – Phil Carradice (Pont) Welsh Cakes and Custard – Wendy White (illustrated by Helen Flook) (Pont)
Lorna Herbert Egan, Chair of the English-language Selection Panel, said, ‘The Tir na n-Og longlist this year covered a broad range of titles for a wide age range, including picture books, illustrated texts and novels for younger and older readers. Contemporary, family, historical, comical, mythological and fantasy fiction also featured, and the span was considered to have appeal for both boys and girls.’ Speaking of the three shortlisted books Lorna added, ‘With his first novel, The Seven, Steve Gladwin was considered to have produced an impressive and intricate series opener for 11–15 year-old readers, drawing on the Mabinogi and dealing with sensitive and serious themes of life and loss. In what is not an easy read, the author created a credible setting where reality and underworld co-exist, as they do in the original Celtic tales. ‘Cowboys and Native Americans, buffalo, horses and wagons and Buffalo Bill himself feature on the striking cover of Phil Carradice’s The Wild West Show, a rollicking good read for 9–12 year-olds, bringing a forgotten aspect of Welsh history to life. In a fictionalised account, this traditional boys’ own adventure involves a young runaway vagrant who witnesses a vicious murder on the back streets of Cardiff. ‘The third book on our shortlist features aspects of contemporary life in Wales from a six-year-old’s perspective, presented memorably in Welsh Cakes and Custard by Wendy White. Deceptively simple and straightforward, its qualities become even more obvious with re-reading, and the author has created unforgettable child characters in Betsi Wyn and Emyr Rhys.’
Elwyn Jones, Chief Executive of the Books Council, said, ‘We were very pleased with the standard and variety of books published for children and young people during the last year, and were delighted to have such strong contenders on the shortlist for the 2014 awards. Our warm congratulations go to the authors, illustrators and publishers involved and we hope that children and young people from all across Wales enjoy reading these wonderful books.’ The Tir na n-Og Awards were established in 1976 with the intention of raising the standards of children’s and young people’s books in Wales, and to encourage the buying and reading of good books.
Three awards are presented annually by the Books Council and are sponsored by the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals Cymru/Wales and Cymdeithas Lyfrau Ceredigion. There are three awards: the best English-language book of the year with an authentic Welsh background, the best Welsh-language book for the primary sector and the best Welsh-language book for the secondary sector.
The shortlists for the two Welsh-language categories have also been announced, and these are:
Best Welsh-language Primary Category Ar Fferm Sgubor Wen – Caryl Lewis (Gwasg Gwynedd) Dafydd a Dad – Manon Steffan Ros a Jac Jones (Y Lolfa) Cwmwl dros y Cwm – Gareth F. Williams (Gwasg Carreg Gwalch)
Best Welsh-language Secondary Category Haciwr (Cyfres Pen Dafad) – Hywel Griffiths (Y Lolfa) Diffodd y Sêr (Cyfres yr Onnen) – Haf Llewelyn (Y Lolfa) Pedwar (Cyfres Mellt) – Lleucu Roberts (Y Lolfa)
Full details and reviews of the books can be viewed on www.gwales.com. The name of the winner of the English-language award will be announced at a special event at Cardiff Central Library during the CILIP Cymru Library and Information Conference on Thursday, 15 May 2014, and the winners of the Welsh-language awards at the Urdd National Eisteddfod, Meirionnydd, on Thursday, 29 May 2014.