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Citywide Read 2020 – Boot by Shane Hegarty


We are delighted to announce Boot by Shane Hegarty, illustrated by Ben Mantle, as the 2020 Citywide Reading for Children choice. This fun story about a robot who wakes up in a rubbish dump with only two-and-a-half memories, is suitable for boys and girls aged 7-10 years.

The campaign is run by Dublin UNESCO City of Literature and Dublin City Libraries, in partnership with Hachette Childrens Books, and runs from January to March 2020. The aim of the initiative is to encourage children to read for pleasure.

“I am thrilled and honoured that Boot has been chosen as the 2020 Citywide Read. Growing up a Dubliner, my local libraries fed my imagination from a very early age, sending me on adventures in space and time every time I walked through their doors. As a writer I see the magic readers still find in libraries. I’m really looking forward to inventing exotic robots, telling tall tales and sharing the adventure with today’s young Dubliners.” says Shane Hegarty.

There will be author visits to many Dublin City Libraries branches as well as city-centre based events to promote the campaign.

Multiple copies of the book will be available in all Dublin City Libraries as well as in all good bookshops.  Children can borrow the book in any library across the country. The project is funded by Dublin City Council’s Public Library Service and the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.


The Book

Boot follows the adventure of a robot who wakes up in a rubbish tip and, with only two-and-a-half memories and a gang of new robot friends, sets off to find its owner. It was recently shortlisted for the Sainsbury’s Children’s Book Award in the UK and the second book in the series will be published in February 2020.


The Author

Shane Hegarty was born and raised in Skerries, Dublin, where he still lives. His bestselling Darkmouth series, about a reluctant monster hunter and the strange town he lives in, has been translated into over a dozen languages and a major animated film is in the works. 

The Illustrator

Ben Mantle has been working as a Children’s Book Illustrator since 2008 from his shared studio in Brighton. He illustrated ‘Callum’s Incredible Construction Kit’ which won the Bishop’s Stortford Picture Book prize 2013.

Teachers Guide and Activities

Boot Teacher Notes

Boot Activity Booklet