For Parents and Grown Ups

Recommended Children's Titles that Adults Will Love

Are You an Adult who Loves Reading? Try These Brilliant Children’s and YA Novels:


The Chestnut Roaster by Eve McDonnell

A wonderful mix of historical fiction and magic realism. The story is set in Paris in 1888. It has a wonderfully original protagonist in Piaf, a twelve year old girl with an amazing gift. She can remember everything that has happened since the day she was born. This is a beautifully written, high octane adventure story that lovers of historical fiction will relish.

Wolfstongue by Sam Thompson

An amazing novel. A beautifully crafted story about a secret world of wolves and their vicious masters, the foxes. Silas, a young boy, is the main character and he enters into this hidden world to see the last remaining wolves fight for survival. Silas wants to help but he is hampered by not being able to get his words out, and in this kingdom language is power.

Hope Against Hope by Sheena Wilkinson

Set in Belfast in 1921 in a newly portioned Ireland. Helen’s Hope is a hostel for girls, a feminist, non-sectarian space, but that doesn’t prevent them from getting caught up in the violence all around the. Funny and moving in equal part, Sheena delivers a big political punch with a feather-light touch.

The Little Bee Charmer of Henrietta Street by Sarah Webb

An historical novel with a light touch is Anyone who enjoys a well-told story and an insight into history will love this book. It’s a story that vividly brings to life the terrible poverty of Dublin in the early 1900’s. We are led through the streets of Dublin by Eliza, Webb’s young heroine, in a fast-paced adventure, richly researched and wonderfully exciting.

The Lonely Book by Meg Grehan

A warm and reassuring story about a non-binary person coming to accept themselves. Told in verse, the story bring us Annie, a young girl whose family owns a bookshop – but not just any bookshop – this is a magical place  that finds books that readers need. Unfortunately, things are out of kilter in this magical place. Business is falling off and even the shop seems to be unhappy. Eventually, the shop finds the book that Annie’s sister, Charlotte, needs. Charlotte asks the family to call her Charlie now, and to use ‘they/them’ pronouns and suddenly peace is restored in the bookshop. A complex theme dealt with simply and beautifully.

Reviews by Patricia Forde, Children’s Author and Laureate na nÓg


Blood to Poison by Mary Watson

A blistering fantasy about family curses, anger and oppression. Set in Capetown, Blood to Poison is a scorching coming of age story ideal for fans of Naomi Alderman and NK Jemison.

Samuel Johnson Vs the Darkness Trilogy by John Connolly

If you love Terry Pratchett, you’ll love Samuel Johnson. A brilliantly irreverent trilogy (collected here in one volume) it’s what happens when you combine one overly curious boy, subatomic physics and neighbours intent on summon the prince of hell.

Why the Moon Travels by Oein deBhairduin

Why the Moon Travels is a beautiful collection of Traveller folklore and legends. Magically brought to life by Oein deBhairduin’s lyrical writing these are stories that will stay will the reader long after they’ve closed the book. Fans of Manchán Magan won’t want to miss this.

The First Move by Jenny Ireland

The First Move is a wonderfully sweet romance ideal for those crushing after Emily Henry and Beth O’Leary. Following two misfit teenagers and the connection they find through a mutual love of chess, The First Move is a delight from beginning to end.

Savage her Reply by Deirdre Sullivan

Savage her Reply takes the Children of Lir and turns it on its head. Following the story of Aífe, the magical woman who curses the children to be swans, we follow her story from birth to her existence now in thought and memory. This novel sits proudly alongside A Ghost in the Throat as incredible study of Irish female voice and will delight those who love Madeline Miller and Natalie Haynes.

Reviews by Méabh McDonnell, Children’s Section Manager, Charlie Byrne’s Bookshop, Galway


The Monsters of Rookhaven by Pádraig Kenny

A superb Gothic fantasy which will upend how you think about family, and about monsters, written with incredible flair.

Other Words for Smoke, by Sarah Maria Griffin

An exceptional tale of haunting, possession, secrets, and buried lies, with some of the most powerfully written prose and unforgettably formed characters (both human and… other) I’ve ever read.

The Moorehawke Trilogy by Celine Kiernan

An Irish Game of Thrones! Fantastically well written and imagined, full of battlefield action, intrigue, complex and memorable characters, and a good healthy dose of strong female protagonist, these are must-reads.

The Wordsmith by Patricia Forde

Thought-provoking, powerful, intelligent, politically engaged, with a compelling plot on top, The Wordsmith is sure to please readers of all ages.

Catfish Rolling, by Clara Kumagai

A stunning, immersive, time-twist drama about grief, love, loss, and growing up in the aftermath of the Fukushima disaster – an unforgettable book.

The Accident Season by Moïra Fowley

Witch-lore, family drama, age-old mystery, and spellbindingly beautiful writing make this (and all Fowley’s novels) well worth losing yourself in.

Reviews by Sinéad O’Hart, Children’s Author and Podcaster 


The Silver Road  by Sinéad O’Hart

Masterfully weaving the powerful lore of Ireland’s ancient past with a modern-day story brimming with heart and adventure. Encountering themes of grief, bullying, friendship and the environment.

Frankie’s World  by Aoife Dooley

A hilarious and inspiring graphic novel by autistic author and illustrator, Aoife Dooley. Written with so much heart and fun, it places the reader in autistic Frankie’s shoes.

Diary of a Young Naturalist by Dara McAnulty

Mind-blowingly beautiful account of Dara’s autistic life told through the lens of magnificent nature. Eye-opening on multiple levels – expect a shift in your perspective. Stunning!

Irish Fairy Tales, Myths & Legends by Kieran Fanning

Kieran brings old tales of yesteryear bang up to date with brilliant touches of Irish humour. A fresh take on traditional tales and legends.

The Fox’s Tower by Sam Thompson

A captivating, thought-provoking and fable-like tale with a clear message that we alone should write our own stories. Exquisite writing.

Reviews by Eve McDonnell, Children’s Author


The Book of Secrets by Alex Dunne

A fantasy adventure which beautifully integrates myth and folklore into a modern Irish setting.

The Monsters of Rookhaven by Pádraig Kenny

A Gothic, funny, spooky tale – imaginative yet utterly convincing.

The Girl Who Fell to Earth by Patricia Forde

A cracking speculative novel that raises climate change and human behaviour issues.

The Winds of Change by Brian Gallagher

An historical novel set during the Irish Land League campaign in the 1880s that expertly conveys the drama and tension of the Land War.

The Children of Croke Park by Michael Foley

Another strong historical novel; through the eyes of three children, the story of British forces opening fire in Croke Park on ‘Bloody Sunday’ 1920 unfolds.

Reviews by Ann Murtagh, Children’s Author and Local Historian