“Both gripping and lyrical—a fine time-travel tale.” Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
If you’re a writer, you know that 99 percent of the time you’re cursed by doubt, wondering whether you can actually write. So when, at about 10 pm UK time on Friday 8 May, I saw an email saying Kirkus had reviewed my debut children’s novel The Keeper of the Stones, my first reaction was to feel sick.
For context, Kirkus Reviews has been around since the 1930s and is an American gold standard in book reviews. The annual Kirkus prize is $50,000 per category (adult fiction, adult non-fiction, or children’s literature). Only books with Kirkus Star reviews are eligible for the prize.
As Kirkus puts it themselves on their web site: “One of the most coveted designations in the book industry, the Kirkus Star marks books of exceptional merit.”
Imagine my disbelief, my repeated reading of the review, as I realised The Keeper of the Stones had landed a Kirkus Star.
It means the book is now eligible for the $50,000 Kirkus Prize for children’s literature (only books with a Kirkus Star are considered).
And it means the book has a global platform on the Kirkus Reviews web site along with other starred children’s authors, from Neil Gaiman to Lois Lowry to J.K. Rowling.
But most of all, it means that at least for a few minutes on a Friday night, I believed I can write.
(c) Roz Kay
The coronavirus lockdowns are limiting distribution, but you can still order The Keeper of the Stones directly from the publisher, Hayloft.