Looking through the aisles of sports books in a book shop, it is obvious the lack of biographies and autobiographies about female sports stars. Searching for books about women in sport, we discovered very few. Many stories of female athletes remain untold. They don’t lack inspiration, they don’t lack character, it is just rare that pen is put to paper and we hear of the fantastic female athletes in Ireland and around the world.
Then we look to the children’s stories and the absence of stories about girls in sport is stark. Why? Emma Larkin saw this absence when she was looking for books to read for her sport-loving daughter and decided to create a series for young girls in Ireland. At Her Sport, we caught up with Emma and discussed how “Izzy’s Magical Football Adventure” came to life and now there is even more excitement as “Izzy’s Magical Camogie Adventure” has just been released!
“All children’s books were always about young boys, with none about girls. I wanted to create something for 6 – 8 year olds that they could read themselves and relate to.”
“My grandmother played for Cork in the thirties and forties and did have a bracelet, so the story is based on some truth – we’re not sure if it’s magical though! I always wanted to write about my grandmother’s story and thought this would be a brilliant way to share her story.”
As a child, Emma Larkin had her grandmother to look up to as a role model in sport, but few girls are lucky to have someone in their life like this. Larkin shares her family story, to inspire generations today and give young girls someone to relate to, changing the landscape in children’s books.
Speaking to Larkin you understand her passion to develop the series while promoting strong girls and encouraging girls to play sport. Larkin is inspiring as she steps away from the norm, diversifying from the historically typical princess or fairy stories, and presenting another option for young girls to enjoy.
Follow Izzy through the adventure of playing football with her brothers, experiencing the pain of loss and the determination to get up and keep trying. Izzy goes on a magical adventure in both books, where she gains appreciation and understanding of both life and sport. In Izzy’s Magical Camogie Adventure, she joins a new camogie team with her friends, coming to terms with some new skills and challenges in a new sport. We don’t want to give too much away, but it is a great read for young girls as they relate to Izzy and learn through her experiences.
The books are created for 6 – 8 year olds and at just a few years older 12 – 13 is the age when twice as many girls drop out of sport as boys. Maybe these series will inspire young girls, encourage self belief and contribute to the efforts in retaining girls and women in sport.
Both books are available on www.emmalarkinbooks.com at €9.00 each.