Murray, E.R.  

The Book of Learning: Nine Lives Trilogy


The exciting adventures of Ebony Smart, a twelve year old girl who discovers she is part of a special tribe of reincarnated people – and a terrible curse. Ebony has just one week to break the curse or die; if she fails, the future of her family, and her people, is at risk – does she have what it takes to succeed?

ISBN: 9781781173626 Categories: , ,


Chosen for the 2016 Citywide Reading for Children Campaign run by Dublin UNESCO City of Literature and Dublin City Council's Libraries Services.

After the death of her beloved grandfather on her twelfth birthday, Ebony Smart’s world is turned upside down. Orphaned for a second time, she is sent to Dublin to live with her weird Aunt Ruby, with only her pet rat, Winston, for company. With every window nailed shut and a mysterious locked room, 23 Mercury Lane is brimming with secrets. Warned against entering by a voice in the shadows, Ebony is fearful for her future, but has no idea how much her life is about to change.

Aunt Ruby informs Ebony that she is part of the Order of Nine Lives - a special tribe of people who reincarnate. She claims Ebony has one week to break a terrible curse or else die – and if she fails, the future of the Order of Nine Lives, and her family, is at risk. With so much at stake, Ebony discovers it’s difficult to trust – especially when there’s somebody else trying to race her to the finish. Does she have what it takes to succeed when nothing is what it seems?

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Download reading program notes for teachers here.

About the Author

Based in West Cork, Elizabeth Rose Murray, has had poetry and short stories published in journals across the UK and Ireland, including 'Southword', 'South Circular', 'Esc' and '3am'. She has been shortlisted in the following competitions:
Francis MacManus (Short Story), Penguin/RTÉ Guide (short story), Powers/Irish Times (flash fiction), Cara (flash fiction) and Aesthetica Creative Works (poetry).

See the book Trailer

Sometimes, it takes more than one lifetime to put things right…

After the death of her beloved grandpa, Ebony Smart’s world is turned upside down. Sent to Dublin to live with an aunt she didn’t know existed, she soon discovers that her new home, 23 Mercury Lane, is full of secrets.

Learning that she is part of an ancient order of people who have the power to reincarnate, Ebony quickly discovers that a terrible evil threatens their existence. With just her pet rat, Winston, and a mysterious book to help her, she must figure out why her people are disappearing and how to save their souls, including her own, before time runs out …

Here’s the book trailer:



When I first saw The Book of Learning I assumed it was a book about school or somewhere else where you would learn. But I was surprised when it turned out to be about the character’s life learning journey. It was very different to what I had expected and I was intrigued from the first chapter. The Book of Learning has a great storyline and many unexpected twists. It was very clear what was happening and I could picture the story in my head, sometimes I had no idea what was going to happen next.

Overall I thought it was a great book and I would advise everyone to read it. I can’t wait to see what happens to Ebony in the next book.

– Matthew Ward, aged 13 (posted on

This is very promising part one of The Nine Lives

- Irish Examiner