Carryduff author Pauline Burgess recently launched her new book for young people, entitled ‘Who Do You Think You Are?’, at Lisburn Library,
Pauline has become very successful in the areas of children’s and teenage fiction, with her last book - Knock Back - being adopted by a number of Northern Irish schools as their class novel.
Her latest book, described by former children’s laureate PJ Lynch as a “brilliant and important new novel for young people”, is a kind of tribute to all the East-European and foreign national students she has taught over the years.
The central character in the story – 13 year-old Magda – is not based on any real person, but was inspired by “all the children who have come to Northern Ireland over the last 10-15 years, and have shown the courage and adaptability to fit in to a whole new world,” explained Pauline.
Magda is a Polish teenager who is finding her new life in Belfast challenging, and like many teenagers, she is conflicted about who she is and who she wants to be.
Mrs Dana Williamson (classroom assistant) and Miss Paulina Rys (sixth form student) helped Pauline with some of the Polish dialogue in the book, and Mrs Gabby McNulty inspired Magda’s surname and home town.
This is Pauline’s fifth published novel and she is particularly proud of this one because it deals with the whole concept of integration and inclusion; something she is very happy to promote.