Siobhán Parkinson
The Moon King

A young boy creates his own world to try to cope with his traumatic past.


IBbY Honour List 2000 - 2000



Bisto Book of the Year Merit Award (1999) - 1999


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176 pages
196x130 mm

Also available as an Electronic Book (ePub)


Ricky has withdrawn from the world into his own inner space. Placed in a foster home which is full of sunshine and goodness, he is uncertain how to become part of family life. He often retreats to his favourite hideaway, a special chair in the attic, and adopts the pose of the Moon King. From this situation relationships slowly begin to grow ... but it is not a smooth path and at times Ricky just wants to leave it all behind.

Having grown up in Galway and Donegal, Siobhán Parkinson has lived most of her adult life in her native Dublin. She studied English literature and German at Trinity, and went on to take her doctorate in English literature. She has worked for many years as an editor, a profession that very closely resembles that of writing. She concentrates more on her writing these days, but is also a very active member of the writers-in-schools scheme, and she gives workshops in creative writing and talks on her work in all sorts of situations. She has held various writing residencies and has been editor of, Inis -- The Children's Books Ireland Magazine, and Bookbird, the IbBy International magazine. Her books have won numerous awards and been translated into lots of languages, her favourites being Latvian, because it is so different, and Japanese, because it is back to front. Her husband, Roger Bennett, is a woodturner and teacher, and her son Matthew is almost grown up. Being her son didn't do him too much harm, he claims, but time will tell. Her book Sisters ... no way! won the Bisto Book of the Year award. Four Kids, Three Cats, Two Cows, One Witch (maybe) won a Bisto Merit Award. Siobhán's next book, The Moon King, also won a Bisto Merit Award and was on the iBbY Honour List 2000, in Ireland's first year as a member of iBbY. Siobhán was Ireland's first Laureate na nÓg (Children's Laureate) from 2010-2012.

'A sensitive portrayal of a child's struggle to rebuild his life'

Best Books

'Original and fascinating story . . . stylishly and thematically, Parkinson's novel credibly demonstrates the power of the imagination to reshape and transform experience'

The Irish Times

'written sensitively and beautifully, The Moon King is sure to be another winner'

Dublin Echo

'Siobhán Parkinson is a cunning and practiced hand at storytelling, and getting under her characters' skin, and this is a dead cert for readers from ten upwards'

Books Ireland

'... a superb book. It explores the world of foster care and damaged children as it follows the story of Ricky, an abused child, who is settled in foster care with the noisy, vibrant Kelly family. Ricky has turned inward, and hides himself ... Ricky's thoughts are presented in the disjointed inner-speech of a wounded child, with his thoughts in a different typeface from the narrative text. This is an adventurous book, and a brave choice of topic for both author and publisher.'

Children's Books in Ireland
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  • Amelia
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