Rocking the System

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Fearless and Amazing Irish Women who Made History

Publication date 1 February 2018 and available in all good bookshops from that date

Product Description

Twenty illustrated essays on Irish women, historical and contemporary, who have defied cultural norms, achieved great things and in some way rocked the system. The subjects include Irish women from Queen Medb to Eileen Gray, from Constance Markievicz to Sonia O’Sullivan, covering stateswomen, artists, writers, activists and rebels of all kinds.

Written by multi award-winning author and first Laureate na nÓg (Irish Children’s Laureate), Siobhán Parkinson. Illustrated by painter, printmaker and pen and ink artist Bren Luke.

Perfect for use in schools as well as for leisure reading, this collection celebrates the role of women in Ireland’s changing society. The ideal readership is age 11+.

With a preface by Sabina Higgins, political activist and First Lady of Ireland

Rocking the System











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‘Many battles have been won by these brave women and the unknown heroines who walked quietly alongside them. This book will inspire all its readers to play their part in creating a world that is fair, harmonious and equal.’ – Sabina Higgins

‘This is a very timely and engaging book for this centenary year of women first getting the vote’ – Micheline Sheehy-Skeffington, lecturer, activist and granddaughter of Hanna Sheehy-Skeffington

‘A brilliant and beautiful new book… Get copies for any teenagers you know who might want to read about some extraordinary women.’ – Lian Bell, founder of Waking the Feminists

‘Parkinson’s well-timed collection of essays takes a feminist perspective on the identity of the Irish nation… This appealing book will definitely strike a chord with today’s young people, who might well be inspired to rock the system themselves’ – The School Librarian

‘Marking the centenary of women’s suffrage in Ireland, this book celebrates twenty determined Irish women, historical and contemporary, who made a difference in Irish society and refused to be accepted as less capable or less important than their male counterparts. A must read for all, especially young girls who aspire to be “their own woman”.’ – Inis Reading Guide, Children’s Books Ireland

‘This book is a MUST. Simply wondrous and inspiring!’ – Mary Esther Judy, Children’s Bookseller

Rocking the System is historically accurate without feeling overly educational. Each profile features a gorgeous portrait illustration by Bren Luke, which I liked in particular as the style reminded me of the images that previously appeared on old punt notes… The most crucial thing about Rocking the System is however, the books ability to shine the light on women who have been, for one reason or another, edited out of the larger story of Ireland’s history. This book goes out of its way to show us HERSTORY… Books like Rocking the System are so crucial; they pay homage to those who have gone before and prepare a new generation of women who will no doubt keep rocking that system for years to come.’ – Ruth Concannon, Dublin City Libraries Reader in Residence

‘Should be read by both boys and girls … a must.’ – Christina Hunt Mahony, Books Ireland
‘Essential reading for young history buffs.’ – Sara Keating, Irish Times 

About Siobhán Parkinson

Siobhán Parkinson is one of Ireland\'s best-known writers for children. She has written almost thirty books, most of them for children and teenagers, for which she has won a bagful of awards and nominations, and her books have been translated into about twenty languages. She was Ireland\'s first Children\'s Laureate.

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1 review for Alexandra

  1. Aoife’s mamaí
    5 out of 5


    FIONNUALA !! I read this irish book over and over to my daughter who is now 5 and we have loved it. We could relate to Fionnuala a lovely irish speaking girl who doesnt like having her hair washed or listening to her Mamaí. We learnt new words and remembered others. We wish for more books written in irish like this.

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