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Irish author Mitchell to donate book profits to Ukrainian Save the Children charity

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Flourish & Blogs

When Little Island commissioned Jane Mitchell to write a novel about young asylum seekers in Ireland, they knew it would be an important book. They did not know just how relevant Run for Your Life would become. More than a million people have fled Ukraine since the start of the month. The refugees are mostly women and children, just like Jane’s protagonists, a mother and daughter who flee violence. Ireland is expecting to receive as many as 100,000 refugees from Ukraine.

Little Island have been deeply moved by the sight of children fleeing the war, and the knowledge that many remain in Ukraine, some forced to shelter for days in subway stations in Kyiv. As an organisation dedicated to young people, they wish to do something to help. So they announced that all Little Island profits from Jane’s book will be donated to the Save the Children Ukraine Crisis Relief Fund


Run for Your Life is endorsed by Amnesty International. In connection with the publication, Jane will leading writing workshops for young people in Direct Provision in collaboration with Fighting Words later this year.

Run for Your Life will be published in April and pre-orders are open now on their website – Click here to Pre-order Now



A few days ago Little Island received an important message from a Russian publisher that has published some of our books in translation (Bank by Emma Quigley and The Best Medicine by Christine Hamill). They are a courageous publisher with a mission and ethos we hugely admire. They gave Little Island the permission to share with you their powerful statement to the international community. We must not forget that brave people in Russia are taking risks to speak truth to power.


Dear fellow publishers and partners,

Since February 24, 2022, the Russian armed forces have been attacking the territory of Ukraine. A “peacekeeping operation” according to official Russian propaganda. No, it’s war.

KompasGuide is against war.

With my whole team, as editor and founder of KompasGuide publishing house, I want to denounce this war. We support Ukraine and the Ukrainian people.

We demand an end to this war without delay.

Despite the increasingly strict censorship – Facebook is almost inaccessible today, as are many independent media – we publicly expressed our opposition to the war from Friday February 25 on all available social networks. KompasGuide, with other independent publishers, has signed a protest petition, which says:

“…We, publishers of Russian books, protest against the war unleashed by the authorities of the Russian Federation in Ukraine. The war must be stopped immediately and the initiators and participants of military aggression must be stripped of their ranks and brought to justice…”.

War is against the fundamental humanist and democratic pacifist values that we have been defending since 2008. I created KompaGuide with the idea that books can be a bridge between peoples, and the human has always been at the heart of my editorial thinking. The texts published by KompasGuide speak honestly to children and adolescents about their past, their present and their future, tackling all subjects, even the most difficult. Denouncing and explaining ancient or contemporary wars with another perspective have always been central concerns of KompasGuide at the heart of many books and strong texts published in recent years as evidenced by many others “Brown Morning” by Franck Pavloff, “Sugar Child” and “Walchen” by Olga Gromova or “Hiroshima no pika” by Iri and Toshi Maruki.

For 14 years, KompasGuide, not without risks, has been offering to young Russians a possibility to think over their Soviet history but also contemporary tragedies. Thus, in 2012 we published a realistic novel on the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan “Photographs to remember” by Maria Martirossova, unfortunately still relevant ten years later. In 2018 we released “Vovka Who Rode the Bomb” which tells the story of two Ukrainian friends separated by death during the Crimean War in 2014, and “The Scorpion Kick” depicting a Ukrainian teenager losing his father and his leg in a bombardment. Knowing that these tragedies occur again hurts and revolts us.

Today, in Russia, few independent publishers dare to take a free and critical look at modern Russia and its Soviet past. Despite the risks, independent Russian publishers are mobilizing to ensure that this voice is heard. Alas, this small space of freedom and truth is fragile, a whole new generation of independent publishers is in danger.

Our work as publishers is precious. Books preserve and transmit human experiences. And these experiences teach us that war is a crime and that human life is an unconditional value. Children’s literature must be able to speak honestly, but in today’s Russia, with the propaganda, it becomes impossible. The future of Russian independent publishers looks dark.

Very sincerely, I do not know today how long KompasGuide, like my colleagues, Russian independent publishers, will be able to continue this other fight for freedom.

We thank you for your support and for your fight alongside us as publishers.

Being heard is important to us. Don’t hesitate to spread our message around you.

Let’s stop the war.

founder and publisher
KompasGuide Publishing House
Moscow, Russia



Little Island have had the privilege of meeting many wonderful international books professionals over the years, at rights fairs such as the Bologna Children’s Book Fair, which they will attend later this month. They were relieved last week to hear from one of them, a rights agent we often work with, Ivan Fedechko, confirming that he and his young family are safe for now in the west of Ukraine. Ivan has set up a fund to support local volunteers in Ukraine, details of which Little Island would be happy to share with anyone contacting them via their website


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