Eithne Shortall: Time to change the story on kids’ bestsellers being dominated by non-Irish authors

Irish authors are high up the list of bestsellers for adults in Ireland, but the top ten children’s books mostly feature non-homegrown writers despite there being plenty of quality choices available here

Marita Conlon McKenna: author of the renowned children’s book Under the Hawthorn Tree. Picture: Geraldine Woods

If you were a child, or had a child, in the 1990s, then you’re probably familiar with Under the Hawthorn Tree. I was obsessed with this children’s novel set during the Irish Famine. I read it at home and at school. I even took part in a stage adaptation.

The book’s author, Marita Conlon-McKenna, was a god among my friends. She was from Dublin – and so were we! I interviewed Conlon-McKenna a few years ...