Izzy's Magical Football Adventure by Emma Larkin Illustrated by Paul Nugent #Review

Today we are looking at a debut novel by Emma Larkin, Izzy's Magical Football Adventure, which was published on 16th September. Aimed at children aged 7+, its bright, colourful illustrations will appeal to young readers. 

Izzy is a seven-year-old girl who lives in Ireland and loves all sport, especially Gaelic Football.

Izzy plays football with her brothers on a regular basis in their back garden and dreams of playing for her county in the All Ireland Ladies Football Final in Croke Park when she is older.

One day, Izzy puts on her great grandmother’s bracelet, which is made of old All Ireland medals that her great grandmother won a long time ago, and something unexpected and magical happens, which may make Izzy’s Croke Park dream a reality sooner than she expected…………….

This is a story young readers will relate to. From the everyday setting to the touch of magic, it is on their wavelength. With a mixture of action and dialogue, it is a nicely paced story which will appeal to young readers. I love the bright illustrations and the subject matter of Gaelic Football is a refreshing choice. With a strong female role model, there is a good moral behind the tale.

Cat and Mouse say... get scoring!

About the Author

My name is Emma Larkin, and I am the founder of “Emma Larkin Books” and “Rebel in Kerry Press”.  I have recently written and published my first book “Izzy’s Magical Football Adventure”, and I hope to write many more books about Izzy and her adventures in sport. As may be evident from the name of my publishing imprint, I am a “Rebel in Kerry”!  This means that I am originally from County Cork in Ireland, which is known as the Rebel County, but I moved to Kerry (another county in Ireland which neighbours Cork) in 2006 and have been happily living in Kerry since then, with my husband and four children. My husband is a Kerry native and we live in North Kerry, near Listowel, where my husband is from, and is an area which is rich is literary history!  

I have always enjoyed reading and writing. Writing essays was my favourite part of primary school! 

In my spare time, I love to run. I am very involved in my local parkrun in Listowel. I also coach ladies’ football at underage level with my local ladies’ football club and did attempt to play ladies football for a few years with my local “Gaelic4Mothers&Others Team”! I may not have been the greatest football player, but I could run! And it was an hour each week where I could exercise in a fun environment with a fantastic group of women, who I remain friends with to this day. 

My inspiration to write this book was my grandmother, Maureen Hennebry, née Cashman. She was on the Cork camogie team which won the All-Ireland Camogie Championship three times in row between 1939 and 1941. She came from a family rich in GAA history, the Cashman’s of Blackrock in Cork, and is even mentioned in the following poem by the famous Irish poet, Patrick Kavanagh:
Camogie Match

Patrick Kavanagh 1905 - 1967

Bright shone the sunlight on Peggy and Doreen
Wild swung the ash sticks.  Be careful astoreen;
Josie is getting into her stride now,
Kathleen is hurling with all her Cork pride now.
A shout from the side-line: Mark your man, Kathleen Cody.
Kathleen pucks it.  I tell you that puck was a dotie.
The game is exciting, it is indeed really,
Maureen Cashman is tackling the bold Ide O’Kiely …

In hindsight, I am in awe of the fact that my grandmother and her teammates played camogie at such a high level at a time in Ireland, where a woman’s role was predominantly to be a wife and homemaker. Which comes to my reason for writing this book, my grandmother was my inspiration to write it, but my reason for writing it was to encourage all young girls to play sports. It is crucial for our wellbeing and development and we need to make it as normal for girls to play sport as it is for boys. The growing popularity of women’s sports in Ireland and further afield is so encouraging and we need to continue to develop this. As the current 20*20 campaign says, “if she can’t see it, she can’t be it”. I hope that my book can in some way help to normalise girls playing football and that both boys and girls will enjoy reading about Izzy’s adventures! 

Visit the following websites for more information;

20*20 campaign - www.20x20.ie
Sport Ireland – www.sportireland.ie
Ladies Gaelic Football Association – www.ladiesgaelic.ie
Camogie Association – www.camogie.ie
Women in sport - www.womeninsport.org

You can follow Emma here: Facebook   |  Twitter 
                                          |  Instagram

Book links: Amazon UK   |  Amazon US  

Thanks to Emma Larkin and Rachel of Rachel's Random Resources  for a copy of the book and a place on the event.

Check out the rest of the tour!



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