Sci-fi and fantasy

Cover Reading Matters Reading Guide

Reading Matters reading guide

Published in September 2023, 'Reading Matters' sees the return of the 'best of the year' format to our annual reading guide. 

Book Cover - Impossible Creatures

Impossible Creatures

Mal is a young girl who lives on the Archipelago; she’s fiercely determined and loves nothing more than using her flying coat to soar high into the skies. Mal’s surroundings initially seem fairly ordinary until we find out that this magical land is home to many fantastical creatures, and something is happening that threatens their very existence …

Book Cover - Thieves Gambit

Thieves' Gambit

Trust no one is the rule to remember when reading this fast-paced adventure story. Rosalyn Quest wants to have mundane teenage experiences, like attending a gymnastics summer camp, and making friends. However, coming from a famous family of thieves, being normal is next to impossible. After her mother, a fellow famous thief, is kidnapped, Rosalyn is forced to do whatever it takes to get her back safely. Rosalyn enters into the Thieves' Gambit - a high stakes competition for young criminals - where the winner is granted one wish.

Book Cover - Skellig


‘We caught our breath at our ability to do this thing, at the extraordinary lightness of our load. I closed my eyes for a moment. I imagined that this is a dream. I told myself that anything was possible in a dream.’

When Michael moves to an old house with an over-grown garden and a dilapidated garage, he makes a shocking a discovery. At first, he can’t believe his eyes, but soon his encounter with an incredible soul develops into a profound bond. With the help of his new neighbour, Mina, they join forces and a remarkable and moving adventure begins.

Book Cover - Kòku Àkànbi and the Heart of Midnight

Kòku Àkànbi and the Heart of Midnight

Maria Motúnráyo Adébísi’s debut novel is the first in a new and exhilarating fantasy series based on West African Mythology. When thirteen-year-old orphaned protagonist, Koku, accidentally unleashes an evil demon spirit during a school trip to the British Museum, his uncle sends him away for the summer. Tired of feeling unwanted, frustratingly misunderstood and of fighting his daily battle with sickle cell anaemia, Koku arrives to the home he doesn’t remember, Olori, feeling powerless.

Book Cover - The Boy Who Saved a Bear

The Boy Who Saved a Bear

In this charming adventure;, boy meets bear and, while It’s definitely not friendship at first sight, boy and bear form a bond of trust and respect, that takes them on the journey of their lives to return the legendary Key of Nissanka to their Queen.

Cover of Inis magazine, issue 69

Inis magazine: issue 69, July 2023

Inis is the magazine of Children's Books Ireland. Within these pages you will find features and articles on Irish and international children's books as well as in-depth reviews of new titles for children and teenagers. With its range of expert contributors, this is a key resource for teachers, writers, illustrators, librarians, parents/guardians and everyone interested in children's books.

Book Cover - Greenwild: The World Behind the Door

Greenwild: The World Behind the Door

We live in worrying times; climate meltdown, war, humanitarian crises all vie for our jaded attention. Do we want stories of the catastrophic impact of big business and the greed of consumerism following our beleaguered youngsters even as they read to escape into fantasy fiction? In short, yes, with Pari Thomson at the helm.

Book Cover - The Girl Who Fell to Earth

The Girl Who Fell to Earth

In The Girl Who Fell to Earth, Patricia Forde has created a brilliant, fast paced story about self-discovery in a way that is accessible for younger readers. Aria has grown up on planet Terros, and all her life she has been taught to despise humans. When Aria learns more about herself and begins to question the lessons of her upbringing, and the mission to destroy planet Earth goes wrong, Aria finds herself in more danger than ever before.

Book Cover - Welcome to Dead Town, Raven McKay

Welcome to Dead Town, Raven McKay

Eibhlís Carcione’s debut children’s novel is a fantasy firmly grounded in human emotions. After Raven McKay’s parents disappear, she moves to Grave’s Pass to live with a distant relative. In this mysterious town the living and the dead live side by side. Raven is fascinated by Dead Town, with its ghosts, zombies and pooka horses. Unfortunately, danger is not far away and she must uncover the mystery of the black butterfly.