Irish Women Who Changed the World

Written by
Sarah Webb
Illustrated by
Lauren O'Neill
Blazing a Trail

Salute the remarkable Irish women who changed history in this beautifully illustrated book. From Irish women who made changes in Ireland to those who made changes abroad. From adventurers to inventors; explorers to warriors; from designers to writers; rebel leaders to presidents, this book is a true celebration of Irish Women.


Children's Book of the Year (senior) - 2018



Best Irish-Published Book of the Year - 2018


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64 pages
242x180 mm

A book for everyone who dreams of changing the world.

From fearless aviator, Lady Mary Heath, the first woman in the world to parachute from an aeroplane, to Margaret Bulkley, the 18th-century surgeon who lived as a man, meet 28 remarkable Irish women who have taken the world by storm.

You may have already heard some of their names, like Countess Markievicz and Mary Robinson, but others, like Anne Sullivan, Lilian Bland or Anna Haslam, may be new to you.

Packed with fun, fascinating facts and stunning, full-page illustrations, this book celebrates the trail blazers who have shaped the world we live in.

Ready to walk in their footsteps? A world of bravery and discovery awaits you.

Made by two remarkable women, author Sarah Webb and illustrator Lauren O'Neill.

Sarah Webb is the author of the Ask Amy Green and Songbird Café series for young readers. She worked for many years as a children’s bookseller and now combines writing with schools visits, reading and giving workshops at festivals, and teaching creative writing. In 2015, Sarah was awarded the Children’s Books Ireland Award for Outstanding Contribution to Children’s Books. She is the Children’s Literary Advisor to Listowel Writers’ Week and was writer in residence for Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council in 2016/2017. For more, visit

Lauren O'Neill is an illustrator and graphic designer based in Dublin. Originally from Wexford, she moved to Dublin to study Vis Comm in NCAD and now thinks of the city as home. Since graduating in 2006 she has worked mainly as a designer in branding and advertising but has recently begun to focus on illustration full time. Lauren has been an avid reader since childhood so illustrating books has been a lifelong ambition.

stunning tribute to the Irish women who changed the course of history with their incredible achievements

a wonderful, celebratory book about extraordinary Irish women who took the world by storm. Packed with fun, fascinating facts, this book celebrates women from every walk of life down through the ages and picked up a prize at the recent An Post Irish Book Awards

Sunday Independent

a perfect resource for SESE and SPHE … this book will inspire, motivate and enthral your eight-12 year olds … written by the renowned author Sarah Webb and beautifully illustrated by Lauren O’Neill

InTouch Magazine

beautifully illustrated … a true celebration

Belfast Telegraph

a salute to the remarkable women who changed history … beautifully illustrated … a true celebration of Irish Women

Sunday World

beautifully illustrated

Mallow Star, Vale Star and Weekly Observer

this is the book for every little girl who dreams of changing the world .. beautifully illustrated

Irish Independent

perfect present ... empowering

Irish Examiner

telling a different story each time you turn the page in clear concise language to make it perfect story time fare. Younger bookworms will especially appreciate the access to the fascinating real-life tales of these icons who changed, not just Ireland, but the entire world … This is a book that will not spend much time on the shelf, as you will spend hours glued to the page

Fallen Star Stories

an amazing, inspirational book


a must-read for any kid

Dave Rudden

it’s so beautiful … an awful lot of women we would not have heard of, but should have heard of, especially for young women

RTE1’s Today Show

I was sent a copy of a book recently, the just published Blazing a Trail: Irish Women Who Changed the World, written by Sarah Webb, and beautifully illustrated by Lauren O’Neill. On first appearance you might actually think this is a children’s book, and in some ways it is, bringing to life for all ages stories of Irish women down through the ages – women who left their mark on the world, blazing their own trail, cutting a groove for others to follow in their footsteps … these examples show what is possible when a girl has that dream, and pursues that dream of a life in sport through hard work and determination

Irish Times
Sonia O'Sullivan

a fabulous book

RTE 2fm
Nicky Byrne and Jenny Greene

Children’s Book of the Week - beautifully illustrated … a perfect gift

Woman’s Way

the illustrations in the book are really wonderful … you tell a great story … fantastic … should be on the curriculum

RTE Radio 1
The Ryan Tubridy Show

the perfect book for young girls who are looking for inspiration, looking for role models ... beautifully illustrated by Lauren O’Neill

Virgin Media’s Ireland AM

a book of extraordinary Irish women created by two great ones

Elaina Ryan, Children’s Books Ireland

If you want to feel inspired, read this book about trailblazing Irish women

the list is wonderfully varied – here are suffragists, scientists, artists, aviators, entrepreneurs and sportswomen, and their lives and achievements are energetically though thoughtfully summed up in Sarah Webb’s text, one page per subject. A successful author of fiction, Webb gets the tone spot on, lively and engaging with a real sense of excitement and awe at the way her subjects negotiated the obstacles in their way to pioneer a trail for women. Lauren O’Neill’s accompanying full page illustrations have equal amounts of vigour bringing these women to colourful life … a book to inspire all readers

Books for Keeps

love the full page illustrations by Lauren O'Neill, which combine aspects of the achievements along with a portrait - cleverly done and a good way to stimulate discussion. Packed with fun, fascinating facts this book celebrates some of the trail blazers who have shaped the world we live in

Parents in Touch

an essential for every young girl on the Emerald Isle. It is so important to educate young women about our history and the women who paved the way for them in the past

Mummy Pages

the moving stories, stunning illustrations and empowering icons make this book a perfect guide for the future Mná na hÉireann. Blazing A Trail is written by the phenomenal Sarah Webb and features flawless illustrations by Lauren O’Neill

Magic Mum

whether changing the world in a blaze of publicity or doing so quietly and largely unnoticed, the women featured in Blazing a Trail certainly provide inspiration for those who of making their own mark on the world in the future

Evening Echo

this interesting volume sets the record straight on a segment of Irishness that has sometimes been ignored

RTE Guide
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Teaching Resources: free to view and download

  • pdf-logoDownload Teaching Guides: Teaching guide to the book by Nicola Heaney

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