From Ireland's first laureate for children's literature comes a story of abuse and neglect told with sincerity, heart, and a healthy dose of humor.
Jono has always been able to cope with his mother's drinking, but when she hits his little sister Julie, he decides it's time for them to run away. Told in Jono's funny, self-conscious voice, the layers of his past and the events of his escape are gradually revealed. Amusing and touching but never sentimental, Siobhan Parkinson is a well reviewed middle-grade author who now turns her considerable skill as a writer to a young adult audience.
Siobhán Parkinson has written a tight, funny, and heartbreaking story of one boy's determination to keep his ever-dwindling family - which ultimately consists of his sister and himself - together. This is at the heart of Jono's voice. This is what makes his story so believable: his unwavering love for Julie. Long Story Short is a perfect middle grade and young adult read. Clearly told from within an Irish landscape, it is universal both in its humor and drama. (Reviewed by Tamara Smith).
The brief, tightly structured novel is suffused with Jono’s desire for a Happy Family, but Parkinson is too good a writer to settle for an easy, happily-ever-after ending. She does, however, allow readers a credible hope in Julie and Jono’s future.
The Philadelphia Inquirer
Unassumingly slender, Long Story Short packs a serious wallop... [the] story is wrenching, but whose manner of telling it is disarming, honest, and often hilarious.... Don’t miss this one.
If the story - filled with flashbacks - is occasionally a bit slow paced, Jono's realistic first-person voice holds the reader's interest, and the setting is as vivid as the boy's briskly vernacular language.
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
Jono's voice is lively and individual... an engaging narrator and a stand-up guy in a tough situation.
Starred Review. [A] deeply affecting story about what can go wrong when adults fail children and the choices available to them are all bad.
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 imaginary places. That sense of excitement and joy about books I want every child to have... I believe that children's literature lays the foundations of the imaginative life of a people, and that every child deserves to have access to a reading haven."
Set over the course of one school year in 1986, this is the story of two star-crossed misfits - smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try. When Eleanor meets Park, you'll remember your own first love - and just how hard it pulled you under.
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