Caroline O’Donoghue celebrates a new six-figure deal; World Book Day as Gaeilge

A preview of Saturday’s books pages and round-up of the latest literary news

In Saturday’s Irish Times, Damon Galgut talks to Alex Clark about his Booker shortlisted novel, The Promise. Evanna Lynch writes about her new memoir which addresses her struggle to overcome an eating disorder. Michael Harding talks to Una Mullally about his new book. Reviews are Naoise Dolan on Windswept and Interesting by Billy Connolly; Before & Laughter: A Life-Changing Book by Jimmy Carr; and The Audacity by Katherine Ryan; Declan O’Driscoll on the best new fiction in translation; Jane Casey on Silverview by John le Carré; Molara Woods on Manifesto by Bernardine Evaristo; Claire Hennessy on The Opposite of Butterfly Hunting by Evanna Lynch; Paul Murray on Fortune by Amanda Smyth; Sarah Gilmartin on Burntcoat by Sarah Hall; and Sara Keating on the best new children’s fiction. And this Saturday’s Irish Times book promotino at Eason’s is Turn A Blind Eye by Jeffrey Archer.

Walker Books has acquired two new titles from novelist and podcaster Caroline O’Donoghue. Following the success of O’Donoghue’s YA debut, All Our Hidden Gifts, commissioning editor Gráinne Clear has acquired world rights for the concluding book in the Gifts series as well as a brand-new title, Skipshock, from Bryony Woods at Diamond Kahn & Woods, in a six-figure deal.

The rights to All Our Hidden Gifts were sold in 10 languages within six weeks of acquisition. The sequel, The Gifts That Bind Us, is due to publish next February, with the final instalment slated for spring 2023. Readers are promised a gripping conclusion to this spellbinding supernatural drama, which follows a group of Irish teenagers with remarkable gifts and a spirit summoned from the tarot deck.

Skipshock marks a new departure for O’Donoghue. It follows Irish teenager Margo Madden as she sets out on a journey to her new boarding school, but finds herself on a track she wasn’t expecting: instead of her train ending up in Twickenham, she’s travelling across time and dimensions. It’s an exploration of teenagehood and the strange nature of time, delivered with O’Donoghue’s characteristic wit and authenticity.


O’Donoghue said: “It’s such a thrill to be able to sign on with Walker for another two books – and hopefully many more after that. The first will finish out the Gifts series (at least for now) and the second is a standalone novel that has been a passion project for me for years. Everyone at Walker is such a pro at what they do and it’s so satisfying to know that, wherever my YA career takes me, I’ll be in safe hands.”

Clear said: “After the publication of All Our Hidden Gifts in June of this year, we’ve been eagerly anticipating the third book in the series. As usual, Caroline has surprised us with her wit and originality in her outline for the finale, but we couldn’t have foreseen a brand-new idea appearing so soon, so fully formed – and so utterly brilliant. We couldn’t be prouder to continue publishing this standout talent in YA fiction.”


World Book Day celebrates its 25th birthday on March 3rd, 2022 and everyone is invited to join the party. The charity’s biggest campaign to date will focus on helping children discover a love for reading through a huge range of fun reading activities, while providing more opportunities than ever to exchange their token and choose a €1.50 book for free.

For the first time, in 2022, an Irish language title will be available to Irish audiences, giving readers the opportunity to chose between two Irish published titles. The pilot project will see the winner of the 2021 Réics Carló Award (Book of the Year for Young Readers one of the An tOireachtas Publishing Awards) available in a special World Book Day edition that can be exchanged for the €1.50 tokens.

A partnership with Foras na Gaeilge, and directed by Clár na Leabhar Gaeilge, An tOireachtas and World Book Day, the Irish language book available will be Cluasa Capaill ar an Rí, by Bridget Bhreathnach & illustrated by Shona Shirley Macdonald, which is published by Irish language publisher Futa Fata. The title will be joining Deadly! Irish History: Fun with the Celts and the Vikings! by John Farrelly, published by The O’Brien Press, along with 12 other titles from Sharna Jackson, Michael Morpurgo and Matt Lucas amongst others. For the full €1.50 book line-up visit

Cassie Chadderton, chief executive of World Book Day, said, “Our 25th anniversary is a moment to look ahead to our ambitions for the future, and we are delighted to be partnering with Foras na Gaeilge to bring an Irish language book to children on World Book Day next year. The announcement of the €1.50 books and the authors and illustrators involved is always the exciting first step towards World Book Day in March. This important addition will mean we can do more to encourage all children across Ireland to love reading and books on World Book Day 2022.”