Meet our Champions of Reading for Reading Community Schools

October 2021
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Children’s Books Ireland and the RTE ToyShow Appeal with the Community Foundation for Ireland are pleased to announce the fantastic Champions of Reading which will work with each of our four Reading Community schools. These authors and illustrators are all highly talented, and bring years of experience working creatively with children. Our shared goal is to make Every Child A Reader in these schools, and we are excited to have three years to work together to achieve this.

The Champion of Reading for each school is:

E.R. Murray reading to students at the launch of the library at Scoil na Croise Naofa
E.R. Murray reading to students at the launch of the library at Scoil na Croise Naofa

E.R. Murray – Scoil na Croise Naofa, Mahon, Cork

Elizabeth Rose Murray’s debut novel, The Book of Learning (Nine Lives Trilogy 1), was chosen as the 2016 Dublin UNESCO City of Literature Citywide Read for Children, and the follow-up, The Book of Shadows (Nine Lives Trilogy 2), was shortlisted for the 2016 Irish Book Awards. Based in West Cork, Elizabeth has had poetry and short stories published in journals and anthologies across the UK, Ireland, Australia and America. Her stories have been shortlisted in several competitions and broadcast on radio. Her first novel for young adults, Caramel Hearts, was published in May 2016. You can learn more about her work here.


Kim Sharkey – St. Brendan’s NS, Kilmeena, Mayo

Kim Sharkey is a multi-disciplinary artist living by the sea in West Donegal; working in art, illustration, animation, participatory arts and arts education. Kim’s creative inspiration has always stemmed back to her love of words and story; with artwork widely exhibited and now part of nine publications, she loves the collaborative process of making a book. Her illustrations in the début picture book Mór agus Muilc won her The Eilís Dillon Award for a first children’s book at the KPMG Children’s Books Ireland Awards 2020. You can learn more about her work here.


Sarah Moore Fitzgerald – Scoil Chroí Íosa, Newcastle, Galway

Sarah Moore Fitzgerald is a novelist, teacher and professor of teaching and learning at the University of Limerick where she’s also been Dean of Teaching and Learning and Associate VP, Academic. She’s now part of the creative writing team at UL and founder of UL’s Winter School for mid-career writers. The author of six novels including The Apple Tart of Hope and A Strange Kind of Brave, her most recent novel for children, All The Money In The World (July 2021), is a rags to riches story exploring privilege, class and identity, and her next book, The Shark and the Scar, is due out in 2022. Her work has been adapted for the stage in London and Edinburgh, translated into over 18 different languages and shortlisted for several awards, including the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize, Children’s Books Ireland Book of the Year and the Irish Book Awards. 


Tarsila Krüse – St. Joseph’s NS, Dundalk, Louth

Tarsila Krüse is an award-winning children’s book illustrator born in Brazil and Irish at heart. She has several published books including Ná Gabh ar Scoil!Bí ag spraoi liom!Percy Péacóg and Bliain na nAmhrán with Futa Fata, and My Little Album of Dublin and My Little Album of Ireland with The O’Brien Press. She lives in a house with a yellow door with her husband, son, and two little dogs, Pixel and Tag. See more of her work here.


A selection of picturebooks at Scoil na Croise Naofa’s new Every Child A Reader library
A selection of picturebooks at Scoil na Croise Naofa’s new library

We have just had a library launch at Scoil na Croise Naofa and are working together on launches of ‘starter’ libraries with Kim, Sarah and Tarsila over the coming weeks, with each school receiving over 200 carefully selected books. After this, we will begin collaborating with a student advisory group in each school to plan project details and an even bigger library of books chosen by students themselves. Watch this space for more exciting Reading Community school news!

Learn more about the overall project here.