Dubliner Carrie shares proceeds of her first book with Gaza

by Rachel Cunningham
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A nine-year-old Dubliner and self-published author will donate 50 per cent of her book’s profits to the humanitarian aid organisation, UNICEF. 

Carrie Cadden, from Rathgar, will donate €500 from the profits of her book, ‘The Army of Cats’, to aid the ongoing conflict in Gaza.  

“My friend’s mum is from Jordan and some of her friend’s kids have died in Gaza, so I think my friends are really happy that I’m giving money to UNICEF,” said Carrie, who kindly rose from her sickbed to speak to the Dublin Gazette.  

Carrie Cadden writer of ‘Army of Cats’

The Kildare Place School, where Carrie is a pupil, bought several copies of her book and were very supportive of her project. From her first print of 50 books, she has just five left and is hoping that demand will call for another trip to the printers.

The plot follows the main character, Sarah, who is inspired by Carrie’s mum, as she endeavours to run a successful cookie business, while fighting local crime alongside a sizeable clowder of cats. 

Carrie began writing the tale with a friend two years ago and decided to persevere with the project after her co-writer dropped out. 

Like most artists, Carrie found the creative process to be a struggle and considered giving up at certain points. 

However, she was encouraged by her parents, Paul and Sarah, and her siblings, George (10) and Sadie (six-going-on-seven). 

She also received support from her family friend, part-time minder and Portuguese teacher Mariana Coelho, who helped her to find an illustrator who could bring her words to life. 

“At the start it was really fun but then it did get quite hard, so I had to take a little break from it,” she said.

“I’m really glad I wrote it and I’m already writing my next book with my cousin.”

Although she has aspirations of going into medicine, Carrie displayed shrewd business acumen when she opted to include an illustration of Alan Hanna’s Bookshop storefront in her book, with the hope that it might inspire the owner of the establishment to stock ‘The Army of Cats’.

Proud parents Sarah and Paul Cadden with Sadie, Carrie and George

She also decided to share the spotlight, by highlighting both of her parents’ businesses, Grays Jewellers and Saba Dublin.

Carrie’s ambition has sparked a competitive but friendly book-writing competition among her siblings and cousins, the winner of which will be announced on St Patrick’s Day. 

The original edition of ‘Army of Cats’ and the published edition.

Pictures Alison O’Hanlon

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