TJ and his Wheelable Chair is a finalist in the People's Book Prize 2019!
Updated: May 21
It’s been a truly amazing couple of years for TJ and his Wheelable Chair. In 2017, 2018 and 2020 , I was part of the Orange County Children’s Book Festival where I spoke about the story behind TJ and his Wheelable Chair and how my journey to becoming an author began. I never anticipated that I would be reading TJ and his Wheelable Chair on stage in California three years ago when I was sitting at my kitchen table trying to work out a way to share my son’s story with others to help give an understanding of his life, from his perspective. It’s been an amazing journey for me as TJ’s mother, but most importantly for TJ himself. TJ has got to meet so many people over the past 5 years through visiting schools and libraries and, the best part of all, is the Q&A afterwards where we invite the children to ask whatever question they would like to ask and to hopefully take away any mystery that surrounds children of different abilities. While over in the US, I also got to visit a fantastic school – Christ Lutheran in Costa Mesa, where I read TJ and his Wheelable Chair to all the children and then had a wonderful Q&A afterwards. The children asked so many insightful questions and it was lovely to share TJ’s life with them and help them understand why he uses a ‘wheelable’ chair and ways we communicate when we don’t use our voice.
On top of this wonderful trip to Orange County in 2018, I then received some amazing news that TJ and his Wheelable Chair was a finalist in the People’s Book Prize Award in the UK!! I was over the moon that so many people voted for TJ and his Wheelable Chair and decided that this book was worthy to be in the final – I honestly can’t thank everyone who voted enough for all your support and kindness. It was a scary experience writing a children’s book about my son as it was so personal and yet the message itself is so simple – TJ loves doing what every other child loves to do, he loves to play & have friends who will play with him too, he just needs a bit of extra help. It was an amazing experience being part of the People’s Book Prize Award’s Ceremony in May 2019 - certainly something I will never forget!
You can listen to my radio interview with KFM back in 2018 discussing my book at : https://kfmradio.com/news/02112018-1617/listen-back-fridays-edition-kildare-focus-ciara-plunkett?utm_campaign=shareaholic&utm_medium=email_this&utm_source=email