In Pieces - Trilogy
The In Pieces Trilogy, funded by the JCSP Library Project with the support of the CDU and the PDST, may be of interest to English teachers and school librarians.
The three novels are intended to speak to the interests and concerns of readers and young writers in Irish schools. Kevin McDermott wrote the first novel in the series, In Pieces, with eight second-year boys in Trinity Comprehensive School, Ballymun. The intention was to write a novel that would appeal to, and hold the attention of, reluctant readers. The JCSP librarian, Joe Kelly, was frustrated by the lack of novels with an Irish background designed for reluctant readers. What better way to ensure that a novel spoke to the concerns and interest of its readers than by involving them in the writing? The novel tells the story of Alan and his best friend, Mary, during their first year in secondary school. In Pieces proved immensely popular with Junior Cycle students when it was published by the JCSP, with the support of the PDST and the DES. To purchase a copy of this book you can go to our sister website, www.becpublishing.com
Arising from the educational success of the novel, Kevin was invited to become the Writer-in-Residence with the City of Dublin ETB/JCSP libraries. During his two-year residency, 2016-2018, he wrote Mary’s Shadow, a follow-up to In Pieces. The novel continues the story of the central characters, Mary and Alan, into their second year in school. The novel was published by the award-winning Irish publisher, Little Island, in association with the JCSP Library Project and supported by the CDETB Sports and Cultural Council. To purchase a copy of this book please click this link.
In the academic year, 2018/2019, he was the JCSP Writer-in-Residence in four Dublin schools, working with young writers from second and third year. During the residency, he started work on the third novel in the trilogy, Rollercoaster. This new novel has just been published by Little Island, in association with the JCSP Library Project, with support from the PDST and the CDU. This book can be purchased directly from here.
These novels are unique in Irish publishing, both in terms of their development through writing residencies in schools, and the support they have received from the JCSP Library Project and associated educational agencies. They are written, edited and produced to trade standards but they are not commercial. These are educational publications, initiated under the National Literacy Strategy and targeted at DEIS schools. The funds raised revert to the JCSP and cover production, printing and distribution costs.