This article is from the Irish Times last December but I neglected to post it so here we go. Last December the newspaper's were full of lists of best books of the year but they were for the most part all about books for adults. I was kindly asked my author friend E. R. Murray to contribute some thoughts on my favourite children's books from 2016 as were a variety of children's authors and booksellers. Of course being me I focused on the books that presented history to children, because obviously history is my thing. You can see the article in full at the link down below. Here however is my contribution.
For younger readers The Moon Spun Round is a collection of Yeats poetry, folktales and childhood writing stunningly illustrated by Shona Shirley MacDonald and collected by Noreen Doody while Kate Pankhurst’s Fantastically Great Women who Changed the World is fabulous fun and full of facts, a great introduction to women in history. Fans of history aged 9 and upwards will adore the moving and wonderfully written Kings of the Boyne by Nicola Pierce and Arrivals by Brian Gallagher about Irish emigrants in Canada may be his best book yet while Caroline Busher’s debut The Ghosts of Magnificent Children is an assured blend of history and the gothic.
Young adult fantasy fans should track down Emily June Street’s The Velocipede Races, a steampunk adventure set in an alternate 19th century, and Passenger by Alexandra Bracken, a time travel fantasy, while Catherine Johnson’s Blade and Bone pits a young black doctor against racial prejudice and the danger of the French Revolution.
Lisa Redmond is senior bookseller at Waterstone’s