James Heneghan 1930 – 2021
May 14th, 2021
Born in Liverpool on October 7, 1930, James Heneghan came to Vancouver in 1957 where he eventually began writing fiction for young people.
His historical and realistic YA fiction won many prizes including the Sheila Egoff Award for children’s literature three times, one of which was for his most acclaimed novel, The Grave. In 2017, he was awarded the Phoenix Award for his novel, Wish Me Luck, which was also nominated for a Governor General’s Award.
Many of his books appeared on the American Library Association’s lists of Best Books for Young Adults, the New York Library lists of Best Books, the Junior Library Guild list and the VOYA Top Shelf Pick list.
Heneghan was a long-time member of the Children’s Writers & Illustrators of B.C. His CWILL colleague, Norma Charles co-authored Bank Job with Heneghan and says he was a “wise, witty and humble man who was a joy and privilege to work with.”
Heneghan once said:“I enjoy writing for children…but one thing I have discovered is that children are tough critics. They know what they like, and only your best will do.”
James Heneghan died peacefully on April 23, 2021.
Very sad to learn about James’ passing very recently. My sincere deep condolences to Lucy. He leaves behind a wonderful legacy of books for children and young adults.
Thank you for sharing your literary ‘voice’ with my students and me, James