The Book of Learning – Citywide Reading Campaign for Children 2016

Pictured: The book of learning by E.R Murray.

Pictured: The book of learning by E.R Murray.

On January 13th Dublin City Council’s Library Service launched details of the Citywide Reading Campaign for Children 2016.

This year’s chosen book, The Book of Learning by E.R. Murray, will appeal to both girls and boys of nine years and older.

It tells the story of Ebony Smart, whose world is turned upside down when her grandfather (and sole guardian) is murdered on her 12th birthday. When Ebony is sent from her home in West Cork to live with her weird Aunt Ruby in Dublin she finds herself in a mysterious house brimming with secrets.

Together with her pet rat, Winston, and her new-found friend, Zach, she encounters locked doors, hidden treasures, wildcats, enchanted books, underground lairs, and shark submarines!

The book reflects the author’s love for Dublin and the story features many well-known Dublin landmarks such as the National Library, Glasnevin Cemetery, The Botanic Gardens, The Natural History Museum and St. Stephen’s Green.

An t-Ardmhéara Críona Ní Dhálaigh said: “The Book of Learning is a book that will enchant and engage boys and girls from age nine upwards and I encourage children and their parents all across the city to read it and to visit their local Dublin City library to find out more about the fun events taking place.”

The Citywide Reading Campaign for Children encourages children to read for pleasure.  It is run by Dublin UNESCO City of Literature and Dublin City Council Public Libraries, in partnership with Mercier Press.  The 2016 campaign runs from January to March. The project is funded by Dublin City Council’s Library Service and the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.

Key Events during the Citywide Reading Campaign
Hugh Lane Gallery, Parnell Square Friday 19th February 2-4pm
Illustration workshop inspired by The Book of Learning which will bring to life places in Dublin featured in The Book of Learning and will explain about the relationship between text and image in illustration.
Suitable for children aged 10+ See (select Kids Club)
Admission €5†
Booking is essential at 01 2225564.

Cabra Library, Navan Road, Dublin 7 Tuesday 8th March 3.30pm
E.R. Murray will read from The Book of Learning and discuss where her ideas and characters come from. She will also take questions on what it’s like to be a writer.
Admission Free. Suitable for children 8+
Booking essential at 8691414

St. Patrick’s Festival.
Big Day Out Merrion Square. Sunday 20th March 12-5pm
A special event will take place in the RSAI building in Merrion Square, which will bring the characters and story of The Book of Learning to life. Featuring magicians, creative writing workshops, live pet rats, author readings and lots more fun, this special adventure will be something to remember. Suitable for ages 6+
More details will be available nearer the time at

Copies of The Book of Learning are available to borrow in all Dublin City Libraries. Ringsend Library has a good supply in stock.

By Jennifer Reddin