Rick O’Shea announced as Shadowing Champion of CBI’s Book of the Year Awards

CBI are delighted to announce broadcaster Rick O’Shea as the Shadowing Champion of the CBI Book of the Year Awards 2019. Rick O’Shea has hosted the CBI Book of the Year Awards for the past three years and has long been a supporter of Irish authors and illustrators. In his new role as CBI Shadowing Champion, he will help Children’s Books Ireland to recruit its largest ever shadowing community of children and young people who will read and judge the shortlisted titles. The shadowers’ scores decide the winner of the Children’s Choice Award, giving children a real way to participate in the awards and make their voices heard. Rick will also present the shortlist announcement and will continue to present the final awards ceremony.

Elaina Ryan, Director of CBI said:

‘Rick has always been a huge advocate for the joy of reading, and his personal passion combined with his professional expertise makes him the ideal person to be our CBI Shadowing Champion. We are excited to talk to a new audience of over 24,000 members in the Rick O’Shea Book Club. This will include parents, teachers and librarians who have the power to introduce the young people in their lives to the best of Irish authors and illustrators on the CBI Book of the Year Awards shortlist. Rick has been a great friend to Children’s Books Ireland and we are thrilled to be working with him on this project.’

Rick O’Shea with a group of young shadowers. Photo: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland

Rick O’Shea said:

‘As host of the CBI Books Of The Year for the last few years the videos from the shadowing section are always the most interesting and fun part of the ceremony (sorry authors!). Being asked to be the Shadowing Champion of the CBI Book of the Year Awards 2019 is an honour and I hope as many kids and schools get involved as possible.’

Rick O’Shea with 2018’s CBI BOYA Children’s Choice winner Sarah Crossan

The CBI Book of the Year shortlist announcement will take place on 11th March at the Belfast Chldren’s Festival. The award winners will be announced at the CBI Book of the Year Awards ceremony on 22nd May at the International Literature Festival Dublin. Groups of children and young people of all ages can ‘shadow’ the awards by registering with Children’s Books Ireland, choosing books to read from the shortlist and sending in their scores to help decide the winner of the Children’s Choice Award. All shadowing groups receive a high-quality activity pack with great ways to engage with the shortlisted books, as well as posters and bookmarks, free of charge. Shadowing groups can be whole classes, book clubs, reading groups or groups of friends – all young readers are welcome to participate. Registration is open now and the form can be found here.