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Friday, February 05, 2016

Book Review: The Book of Learning by ER Murray

Chosen for the 2016 Citywide Reading for Children Campaign run by Dublin UNESCO City of Literature and Dublin City Council’s Libraries Services.


The Book of Learning is the first in a trilogy from ER Murray about 12-year-old Ebony Smart. It seems that Ebony has had nine lives. She doesn’t discover that until her Grandpa dies. The strange circumstances of her Grandpa’s death push her into the arms of family that she doesn’t know and doesn’t trust. Are they responsible for her beloved Grandpa’s death? Why did he never mention them? It’s a mystery and poor Ebony only has her wits, her pet rat and a riddle-filled Book of Learning to guide her way. Who’s on her side? Were there really eight other Ebony Smart’s? Ebony needs to find her Grandpa’s murderer before it’s too late.

This adventure book is set in Dublin and is full of mystery and wonder. There’s obviously more story brewing as it’s the first of three novels. If you’re looking for strong, defiant characters, a good story and a bit of magic then this is a great read for 8-12 year olds. Younger readers might find some of the scenes scary but that shouldn’t deter parents from reading it with under 8s. And I enjoyed it as an adult reader so it would be fun for over 12s as well.

The Rathmines library had stacks of this book on display and I’ve seen bus posters and promos around Dublin. There’s good coverage of this campaign.

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