"My grandmother died," says fourteen year old Jono at the opening of Siobhán Parkinson's Long Story Short
. "I know this is not what you would call a dramatic opening. Mr. O'Connell, who is my Creative Writing teacher... would say 'not intriguing enough, Jonathon. You need to hook your reader.' I don't need to do any hooking, because this is not Creative Writing. This is what really happened." And thus Jono begins to tell his story.
Written in two parts, Long Story Short
, is told in a close first person point of view. The reader gets deep inside Jono's head, and so it is hard to know whether or not to trust him. Did his mother hit his sister Julie so hard that she broke her cheekbone? Did he have no choice but to decide that they needed to run away? There is no other perspective from which to gain more information, nor is there a witness to the events that...
Beyond the Book
On May 11, 2010, Siobhán Parkinson (pronounced sh-vawn) became the first Irish Children's Literature Laureate (aka Laureate Na nÓg) ever. (Na nÓg is an Irish term meaning "the young" or "young people"). Held for two years, the main purpose of the position is to expose youths to good, high quality children's literature and to weave it into Ireland's culture. Siobhán said of what she hopes to achieve:
"[That] every child in the country has access to a nice, bright, warm, cheerful, comfortable library, where they can go and find the books that will open their minds and bring them into wonderful...