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The top sellers of our first year!

We are now open one year, and what a year it’s been! It’s been really interesting to analyse the top selling books of the year. I’m delighted there are so many Irish books in the top 20 (11), and of all the authors & illustrators featured, 10 of them are Irish!

The following are the top selling books of our first year (18th Oct 2019 – 17th Oct 2020):

1. The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse by Charlie Mackesy. This is one of the most beautiful books you will ever lay your hands on and it makes a wonderful gift for anyone and everyone in your life. It is a particularly special gift for anyone going through a tough time. You can also buy a limited edition tote bag here.
2. A Place called Perfect by Helena Duggan (age 9-12, Irish). Helena very kindly came to visit St Laurence’s NS in Greystones last November, and as you can see her book proved to be very popular! It tells the tale of a town that is not quite as it seems. The second book in the series, The Trouble with Perfect has come in at number 17!
3. Here we Are: Notes for Living on Planet Earth by Oliver Jeffers (Picture Books, Irish). This is our go-to recommendation for a new baby present. It was written for his baby boy as a way to introduce him to Planet Earth. It is beautifully illustrated and conveys a message of kindness. Oliver Jeffers has written a new book for his daughter called What We’ll Build.
4. The Storm Keeper’s Island by Catherine Doyle (age 9-12, Irish). This was the book chosen for our first (and only…so far) 9-12 bookclub. It is based in Arranmore, Co Donegal and is a clever, page turning adventure mixing magic and legend with sibling rivalry and a boy coming to terms with big changes in his life. There are two books in this series, with a third due to be published next year.
5. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Wrecking Ball by Jeff Kinney – last year’s addition to the very popular series (age 9-12).
6. Unbelievable Top Secret Diary of Pig by Emer Stamp (age 5-8) – the Pig series is the most popular series in the shop, with all four books in our top 23! Children love the mischief of Pig and his friends and the fact that there is LOTS of poo and farts! Emer was due to travel from the UK to launch her latest book “Pests” in April in Halfway up the Stairs but alas, this event was cancelled due to COVID-19.

7. Big Fat Totally Bonkers Diary of Pig by Emer Stamp
(age 5-8) – as above!
8. Follow the Track all the Way Back by Timothy Knapman, illustrated by Ben Mantle (Picture Book). We are donating €5 from the sale of each copy of this book to Greystones Cancer Support, in memory of little Oisin Linehan from Greystones, who sadly passed away recently, age 2. This was Oisin’s favourite book and it tells the story of a little train who gets lost but finds his way back to his parents.
9. No-one is too Small to Make a Difference by Greta Thunberg (Reference). This pocket sized book containing Greta Thunberg’s speeches brings Greta’s message to both children and adults, and has found it’s way into many homes in Greystones.
10. Dog Man: Grime & Punishment by Dav Pilkey (5-8). The latest in the hugely popular Dog Man series, which saw us take in our highest number of preorders to date! There were squeals of excitement from many kids when this book arrived into the shop!
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11. Boot by Shane Hegarty (5-8, Irish). The first in the series, this was the book we chose for our first (and only!) 7-9 bookclub. It tells the story of a lost robot, who only has two-and-a-half memories trying to find his owner. Funny and heartwarming. We were very lucky to have Shane come to visit us to sign the latest book in the series – The Creaky Creatures.
12. Slime by David Walliams (5-8). David Walliams’ books are always very popular!
-13. The Seriously Extraordinary Diary of Pig by Emer Stamp
(age 5-8). The third of the Pig books in our top 20 , and “The Super Amazing Adventures of Me, Pig” comes in at number 23!
– 13. All to Play For by Donn McClean (age 9-12, Irish). We were very excited to stock this great book by local author and sportswriter, Donn McClean. It is Donn’s first children’s book and it tells the story of Anna coming to terms with the loss of her father, new beginnings and lots of exciting sports action too. Donn visited us when the book was published and signed lots of copies! (Published Aug 2020).
– 13. Elsetime by Eve McDonnell (age 9-12, Irish) – one of our books of the year! This historical novel is a page turner, with time travel, friendship, peril and humour thrown in too! Eve visited us on publication day, and signed loads of copies , and gave us some wonderful momentos! (Published Sept 2020).
16. Rabbit’s Bad Habits by Julian Gough & Jim Field (5-8, Irish)- the first in the series, these books are both funny and heartwarming, and hugely popular!
17. The Trouble with Perfect by Helena Duggan (9-12, Irish). The second in the Perfect series and the second of this series in our top 20!
18. The Dead Zoo by Peter Donnelly (picture book, Irish). A beautifully illustrated and joyful book, inspired by Oscar Wilde’s The Selfish Giant, told in one of Ireland’s favourite museums. Peter kindly dropped in to sign lots of copies!(Published Sept 2020).
19. Have you seen the Dublin Vampire? by Úna Woods (picture book, Irish). The cutest vampire takes a stroll through Dublin – with vivid illustrations and simple text, this book was a huge hit for Halloween and continues to sell really well. Again, we were very lucky that Úna came to visit and sign her gorgeous book (Published September 2020).
20. The Great Irish Science Book by Luke O’Neill (Reference, Irish). This oversized reference book contains incredible illustrations, easy to digest facts and is a book to be treasured.

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Ask the Experts

THE BEST IRISH CHILDREN’S BOOKS FOR THE SEASON AHEAD

7:30pm, Wednesday October 21st,2020

Join children’s book expert Lorraine Levis, and award-winning children’s writer & children’s book reviewer, Sarah Webb for an evening of children’s book recommendations and book chat, hosted by Trish Hennessy of Halfway up the Stairs Children’s Bookshop.

They will recommend some of their favourite Irish books of 2020 and answer all your reading and book questions, including advice on the best books to give as gifts for the season ahead. Come with questions, leave with answers!

 To register for this free zoom event, please email info@halfwayupthestairs.ie

Lorriane Levis, author of Once Upon a Reader
Sarah Webb, author of The One with the Waggly Tail and many more!
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First Anniversary Competition!

FIRST ANNIVERSARY/ IRISH BOOK WEEK COMPETITION

We have put together a number of prizes to celebrate our first anniversary (on Sunday 18th October) and Irish Book Week (running from 17th – 24th October). 

For children up to age 10, we have themed bundles to win! To enter, we are asking children to pick a theme (Unicorn, Dinosaur, Halloween and Nature & Space) and submit a picture or a story based on that theme and to include “Halfway up the Stairs” in their story or picture.

For older children, we are asking them to submit a review of their favourite book – just a few lines about why they loved it. We have a bundle of books for each age group to win – 9-12; Young Teen and Young Adult.

Pictures, stories and reviews can be dropped into the shop, or emailed to info@halfwayupthestairs.ie

We are also running a “Like & Share” competition on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for the grownups – the prize is a copy of the beautiful “The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse” and a limited edition tote bag, designed by the author Charlie Mackesy.

Competition ends on Sunday 25th October. Winners announced the following week. Judges decision is final.