12 If I Was a Child Again

9781842236000This time Literary Love Fest brings you a book of many voices united for a common cause, If I Was a Child Again, a charity collection aimed at raising funds for Barnardos.

1) What is your name? What is your quest?

There are a lot of big names here, including some of Ireland's best-known writers, broadcasters, journalists and TV personalities. Stay tuned for the full list. And of course the quest here is to raise money for Barnardos. All of the royalties for the book will be donated to Barnardos educational programmes. Barnardos is a children's charity based in Ireland and these programmes will help schools to provide information and resources on bullying, rights education, and a host of other issues, as well as promoting literacy and social justice. A very worthy quest, if you ask me.

2) Okay, tell me about the book.

If I Was a Child Again is sort of a sequel to All I Want for Christmas, another very successful charity collection published by Poolbeg in aid of Barnardos. Writers from all over Ireland (and one from Canada) come together to share stories of their childhoods, relive favourite memories, and offer advice to the children of today. Each of the stories clock in at roughly 2,000 words, which works out to be about seven pages a piece, making it ideal for train reading. Or you can spend a cosy afternoon reading it from cover to cover. The stories are funny, moving, overwhelmingly nostalgic, and true. (It's all non-fiction.) Look out for Niamh O'Connor's story "The Day Things Changed" which was nominated for an Irish Book Award. You'll also find great contributions by Caroline Finnerty, Ciara Geraghty, Roisin Meaney, Louise Phillips and Margaret Scott, as well as Fintan O'Higgans, one of the only boys and my classmate from grad school.

I've got a story in there myself, a short memoir called "Rocks for Sale", about the time my little sister spent the day outside our house trying to sell rocks to the neighbours. But really it's about growing up as part of a household of three stubborn girls and how we were always competing and driving each other and our parents crazy. I had a great time writing it, even if I was nervous about having something about my own life appearing in print. If my family decide to sue me, I'll make sure any of the winnings go to Barnardos.

Photo0167Here is the full list of authors:

Claire Allan   Jennifer Barrett   Shirley Benton   Siobháin Bunni   Jennifer Burke   Colette Caddle   Janet E Cameron   Anna Carey   Ann Carroll   Fiona Cassidy   Carol Coffey   Roslyn Dee   Caroline Finnerty   Vanessa Fox O'Loughlin   Sorcha Furlong   Ciara Geraghty   Caroline Grace-Cassidy   Niamh Greene   Carmel Harrington   Andrea Hayes   Emma Heatherington   Gemma Jackson   Susan Loughnane   Marisa Mackle   Mary Malone   Miranda Manning   Eugene McEldowney   Siobhán McKenna   Roisin Meaney   Helen Moorhouse   Sinead Moriarty   Eugene O'Brien   Jennifer O'Connell   Andrew O'Connor   Brian O'Connor   Niamh O'Connor   Fintan O'Higgins   Geraldine O'Neill   Louise Phillips   Margaret Scott   Áine Toner

And here's the blurb, straight from the Barnardos website:

"If I Was a Child Again is a collection of memories and inspirational words from some of Ireland's finest writers, journalists and TV personalities as they tell us what they would do if they could be a child again for one more day. Some recall their fondest childhood memories, some are bittersweet, while others provide uplifting words of wisdom for today's children. This book will make you laugh and cry but, above all, it encapsulates the magic of childhood. 100% of the royalties from the sale this book will be donated to Barnardos educational programmes."

It's available at Easons under the 2 for 3 deal and in most other Irish bookshops as well as online. I bought four copies. Feel free to do the same.

...dang! It's Literary Love Fest, so I need a soundtrack for this. But I have no idea what an Irish childhood might sound like. I asked my fella, born in 1974, and he said it would definitely sound like this. Do you agree?

And my own culture-less Canadian childhood spent in front of a TV would sound more like this:



Get your copy of Cinnamon Toast and the End of the World here

...in Ireland and the UK 

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In the U.S.A.

In Canada...or try here. Or go independent.

"...astonishingly good....a juicy coming-of-age story...also an important read." The Globe and Mail

"...poignant...heart-wrenching. This stunning debut will surely appeal to both teenage readers and adults." Quill & Quire, starred review

"Witty, devastating, with a melancholy humour..." Sunday Business Post

"...page-turning, top drawer stuff..." BGE Book Club

"...warm, witty, heartfelt and utterly engaging..." The Irish News

"A stunning debut. I loved it." The Irish Examiner