Blazing a Trail

Blazing a Trail

Irish Women Who Changed the World

Written by Sarah Webb, Illustrated by Lauren O'Neill

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

Irish Book Awards - Winner

Quiz Writers’ Choice Award: Secondary Non-Fiction - 2020

Renaissance Learning - Winner


Best Irish-Published Book of the Year - 2018

Irish Book Awards - Short-listed

Hardback: €16.99
Hardback: 64 pages
Size:242x180 mm
ISBN: 9781788490047

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

Sarah Webb is an award-winning children’s writer. Her books include Blazing a Trail: Irish Women who Changed the World (illustrated by Lauren O’Neill) and A Sailor Went to Sea, Sea, Sea: Favourite Rhymes from an Irish Childhood (illustrated by Steve McCarthy), both winners of Irish Book Awards.

She runs creative writing clubs for young writers, reviews children’s books for the Irish Independent, and programmes children’s and family events for book festivals and MoLI (Museum of Literature Ireland). She also works part-time in a children’s bookshop.

Passionate about bringing children and books together, Sarah was awarded the Children’s Books Ireland Award for Outstanding Contribution to Children’s Books in Ireland.

Her latest novel for children is The Little Beekeeper of Henrietta Street (illustrated by Rachel Corcoran), set in Dubiln in 1911.

Lauren O'Neill

Lauren O’Neill is an illustrator and graphic designer based in Dublin. Originally from Wexford, she moved to Dublin to study in NCAD and stayed. Her work has appeared across a wide variety of areas from advertising campaigns to storybooks and gallery exhibitions. She has illustrated Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels, winning the Children’s Books Ireland Merit Award for Illustration, and Blazing a Trail which won the Children's Book of the Year (senior) Irish Book Award in 2018.

packed with fascinating facts and stunning illustrations

Irish Country Magazine

a grand gathering of exploits and role models

Kirkus Reviews (US)

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

Irish Independent

beautiful, accessible … Webb’s skill as a storyteller ensures that each entry is clear, engaging and sure to spark further research and discovery for young readers. O’Neill’s conceptual illustrations are perfectly paired with the succinct prose … the sense of celebration and joy that emanates from O’Neill’s work is positively infectious … Blazing A Trail helps illuminate some of the gaps in our collective understanding of the past, and it does so with style

Inis Magazine, January 2019 issue

A beautiful accessible book … O’Neill’s accompanying portraits are stunning


Tuam Herald

fantastic reads for girls and boys

Shane Hegarty, Meath Chronicle

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

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

Teaching Resources: free to view and download

  • Download Teaching Guides: Teaching guide to the book by Nicola Heaney

Also by Sarah Webb:

Emma the Penguin
Sally Go Round The Stars
Animal Crackers
The Little Bee Charmer of Henrietta Street
A Sailor Went to Sea, Sea, Sea
Dare to Dream

Go to author page...

Also by Lauren O'Neill:

Mollie On The March
The Boldness of Betty
The Making of Mollie
Twin Power: Throw In!
Twin Power: The Lost Cup
The Night-time Cat and the Plump, Grey Mouse

Go to author page...

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