14 August 2021
By Mary Bermingham
Cork County Council Library and Arts Service has announced the inaugural ‘One County, One Book 2021’ read for teens and young Adults. The chosen book is All Our Hidden Gifts by Cork born author, Caroline O’Donoghue. The Council’s ‘One County, One Book’ initiative is designed to promote homegrown literature, with prominent placement in its branches, and to promote literacy as part of its community outreach programmes to young people.
The ‘One County, One Book’ programme for teens and young adults, will encourage young people aged 15 and over to read the book and participate in programmed events from September to November 2021. The programme will include virtual author visits to five County Cork secondary schools, where the book will be read by transition year students, as well as art and music competitions. In November, students will also have the opportunity to discuss the literature with the author, while exploring related issues such as acceptance and inclusion.
Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr Gillian Coughlan welcomed the initiative
“I’m proud to see Cork County Council’s Library and Arts Service continue to be accessible and welcoming to people of all ages and to do so by spotlighting an incredibly talented Cork author. This exciting programme sets out the ambitions of the service and has been especially committed to working with schools throughout the county to encourage our younger readers. I invite young adults and teens across the county to celebrate their creativity and enter the various art and music competitions as set out in the programme.”
Deputy Chief Executive of Cork County Council, James Fogarty noted
“Our libraries play a vital role in our communities, providing social and academic supports and fostering a culture of creativity and appreciation countywide. Cork County is a literary haven, with a strong tradition of local creativity and through the One County, One Book programme, Cork County Council is welcoming the next generation of readers and writers into this enduring and valuable countywide community.”
Cork County Librarian, Emer O’Brien welcomed the programme saying
“On behalf of Cork County Council Library and Arts Service, I am delighted to have the opportunity to promote All Our Hidden Gifts by Caroline O’Donoghue as a read for Teens and Young Adults in Cork County. We want to promote reading amongst Teens and Young Adults and welcome the fact that this book may help them to positively explore the issues of acceptance and diversity, as well as inspiring them to connect with reading as a leisure activity at a time of their lives when they have lots of pressures and stresses.”
“I couldn’t be more delighted by this. I spent my childhood in and out of libraries. I spent hours either messing around on the computers or discovering the authors that shaped my understanding of both reading and my perception of Ireland. Whether it was Marita Conlon McKenna or Cora Harrison, I feel so lucky to have grown up in an era of publishing where Irish kids were given such a strong sense of their own national identity, as well as the various injustices that are baked into our history as Irish people. It was that thoughtful dedication to children’s reading – shaped by not just the libraries but the entire Irish book industry – that formed the DNA of All Our Hidden Gifts. It is such a privilege to be able to pick up that torch and pass it on with the One County, One Book initiative.”
Copies of the book will be available in Cork County Council Library and Arts Service branch and mobile libraries. The project is funded by Cork County Council Library and Arts Service and Creative Ireland.
Caroline O’Donoghue is an Irish author, journalist and host of the award-winning podcast Sentimental Garbage. She has contributed to Grazia, The Irish Times, The Irish Examiner, Buzzfeed, Vice and The Times. On publication of her first novel, Promising Young Women, in 2018 she was shortlisted for the Irish Book Awards’ Newcomer of the Year and the Kate O’Brien Award. Her next adult novel, Scenes of a Graphic Nature, was published by Virago in 2020. All Our Hidden Gifts published by Walker, in 2021 is Caroline’s first novel for young adults. Caroline was born in Cork but currently lives in London.
All Our Hidden Gifts is a supernatural mystery that plays out against the backdrop of contemporary Ireland while exploring the theme of acceptance. Protagonist Maeve’s tarot-card readings make her the talk of her school until a classmate draws an unfamiliar card—and then disappears. Thus, begins a tale of mystery and the supernatural that’s enthralled fans of the young-adult fiction genre.