Sunday, 25 June 2017

Sarah Crossan: a Case Study in Poetic Excellence

Carnegie Medal winner 2017, One, by Sarah Crossan.
Carnegie Medal winner 2016, One.

Sarah Crossan is undoubtedly one of the U.K.’s and Ireland’s most exciting writers. Breath-taking, heart-wrenching and unputdownable, her books stay with you months after you’ve read them.

Sarah writes with so much heart that it’s impossible not to relate to her characters and the themes in her books.

In Apple and Rain, Apple’s mother returns after 11 years but her return is bittersweet. Not everything is as it seems and when Apple discovers she has a sister, she re-discovers the meaning of family and realises what’s special in her life. The bond between siblings is something Sarah expertly captures on the page; so vivid that it feels as though the words shift and morph on the page to become an immersive, cinematic experience. In One, Sarah explores the power of love between conjoined sisters, Tippi and Grace. Told in beautiful verse, the words flow across the pages like a river; every word perfectly positioned to paint a masterpiece.

The Weight of Water by Sarah Crossan.
The Weight of Water by Sarah Crossan
In The Weight of Water, Sarah tackles attitudes towards immigrants, an ever-topical discussion. Sentimental and thought-provoking, readers are taken on a journey by young narrator, Kasienka, as she is uprooted from Poland by her mother and displaced in England in search of her father. Simple in premise but rich in poetic detail, The Weight of Water will stun with linguistic precision, taking readers on an epic journey of emotion.

And let’s not forget Sarah’s first co-authored novel with, Brian Conaghan (author of When Mr Dog Bites and The Bombs that Brought us Together). Told in Sarah’s signature style, the story explores the lives of troubled teens, Nicu and Jess. The story shares similar themes to Sarah’s previous stories, including immigration (Nicu emigrates to the U.K. from Romania). Jess, who lives in an abusive, violent home, meets Nicu on a juvenile reform course after both teens are caught shoplifting. With an ending that is gut-wrenching and verse that is immensely powerful, this is definitely one to add to your TBR pile (right at the top!).

Moonrise by Sarah Crossan.
Moonrise by Sarah Crossan

Sarah’s new book, Moonrise, publishes on 7 September 2017 (in Ireland and the U.K.) and tells the story of Joe and his brother Ed, who’s on death row. The synopsis teases some questions:

What value do you place on life? What can you forgive? And just how do you say goodbye?

I’m anticipating another heart-breaking Crossan-esque story that will lift readers up and break hearts worldwide. What's your favourite Sarah Crossan book? Tweet me @YAfictionados or tell me in the comments below.

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