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In 2008, as the global financial crisis peaked and Ireland faced a long period of austerity, the government announced that the primary school library fund would be cut in its entirety. The €2.2m annual investment from the then-Department of Education & Science had been in place for 37 years; public libraries funded the remainder (58%) of the €5.19m spend on the schools library service.
"If you can give children hope and empowerment, it makes them much more inclined to do something,” says Hannah Gold. “Frightening children about climate change just makes them paralysed with fear.” Gold is speaking to me over video call from her home in Lincolnshire about her début children’s book The Last Bear (HarperCollins Children’s Books).
Sally Rooney’s latest novel Beautiful World, Where Are You (Faber) is already the biggest-selling hardback fiction title of 2021 at Waterstones after just three days on sale, the chain's m.d. James Daunt has said.
James Rebanks, Grace Dent and Sami Tamimi and Tara Wigley are among the winning authors of the annual Fortnum & Mason Food and Drink Awards.
Authors including Michael Morpurgo, Poet Laureate Simon Armitage and Nadiya Hussain are on the bill at Tring Festival this year.