The Making of Mollie by Anna Carey

The Making of Mollie

Written by Anna Carey

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The Lovereading4Kids comment

In a nutshell: Suffragettes rule! A girl’s eye view of early feminism | In Anna Carey’s lively new novel, it’s the portioning out of a roast chicken that sets Mollie thinking about women’s rights (her brother always gets the best bits)! It’s 1921 and the suffragette movement is gathering momentum. When Mollie follows her big sister to one of their meetings, she’s inspired and is soon a passionate supporter of the cause, spreading the word amongst her school friends too. Based on real historical events this shows just what the suffragettes were up against, as well as how exciting it is to be part of a political movement. It’s told through letters Mollie sends to a friend, and this makes it both immediate and vivid, with the impulsive, daring Mollie a very appealing narrator.

Readers will also enjoy Anna Carey’s contemporary novels about teenager Rebecca, and those inspired to find out more about the suffragettes should look out Suffragette by Carol Drinkwater. Opal Plumstead by Jacqueline Wilson also features the suffragettes, and Frances Hardinge’s award-winner The Lie Tree is very good on the unfair treatment of women in the latter part of the 19th century. ~ Andrea Reece


The Making of Mollie by Anna Carey

It's spring 1912, and 14-year-old Mollie Carberry lives in Drumcondra with her loving but distracted parents, her older sister Phyllis, her spoiled older brother Harry and her saintly little sister Julia. Mollie's convinced that her life is boring - until she discovers that Phyllis is a secret suffragette. After attending a suffrage meeting, Mollie wants to do something for the movement too - and she soon convinces her best friend Nora to join her. At last, they have some excitement in their lives! While some of their classmates approve of their new cause, others can't see the point. Their timid schoolfriend Stella worries that Mollie and Nora are going to get into trouble. And their classmate Grace, who also happens to be Nora's cousin, disapproves of anybody who steps out of line. Despite this general apathy, as the weeks go by, Mollie and Nora become even more determined to do something for the cause. Even though nobody in the cause seems to particularly want their help.

About the Author

Anna Carey

Anna Carey is a freelance journalist from Drumcondra living in Dublin who has written for the Irish Times, Irish Independent and many other publications. Anna joined her first band when she was fifteen and went on to sing and play with several bands over the next fifteen years. Her last band, El Diablo, released two albums and toured all over the country. Her first book, The Real Rebecca, was published in 2011, and, to her great surprise, it went on to win the Senior Children’s Book prize at the Irish Book Awards. To the delight of many readers, Rebecca returned in the critically acclaimed Rebecca’s Rules, which was shortlisted for the same prize in 2012 (she didn’t win this time, though).

Questons re The Making of Mollie:-

1. What gave you the idea for your book?
I’ve always been interested in women’s history, and I’d been thinking of writing non-fiction about the Irish suffrage movement. But I thought it would be more fun to tell the story of some teenage girls who want to get involved in the movement, even if the movement - or at least Mollie’s suffragette big sister - doesn’t particularly want them

2. When writing The Making of Mollie, how did you transport yourself back to 1912?
I went to my old school, Dominican College on Griffith Avenue in Dublin, and looked at their old year books. The school was founded in Eccles Street in 1883 (the famous suffragette leader Hanna Sheehy-Skeffington was a pupil there, and later worked there as a teacher) and started producing a yearbook in 1913, which was really, really useful and helped me imagine what the school was like back in those days. It also had lots of stories written by the girls themselves, which were very entertaining and inspirational. It was always a pretty progressive school - it was the first Irish institution that taught Catholic girls right up to university degree level, back in the days before girls were allowed attend universities.

3. Put yourself in her shoes - do you think you would have been as brave as Mollie to get involved in the cause, or would you have been more hesitant, like Stella?
I would definitely have supported the cause, and I think I’d definitely have gone on some protest marches and meetings - I went on a fair few marches for women’s rights when I was a teenager. Would I have actually taken militant action? I’m not sure I’d have been brave enough to break windows, but I think I’d have done some chalking.

4. What was the most rebellious thing you ever did at school?
I got sent home for swearing once, which I wouldn’t recommend. And I sometimes got into trouble for reading and talking and laughing in class. But I was actually pretty well behaved, as a rule. I had a pretty good time at Dominican College, and I’m still good friends with my best friends from school.

5. What age were you when you became aware/interested in the suffragettes and women’s rights?
I can’t remember how old I was when I first heard of the suffragettes, but my mother always did tell my sisters and me how important it was for us to vote, because women had died for that right. I was always interested in feminist issues but I really started identifying myself strongly as a feminist when I was about 16, in 1992.

6. Who are your favourite writers?
I have too many to count! My favourite writers for young people are Antonia Forest, Noel Streatfeild, Diana Wynne-Jones, Tove Jansson, E. Nesbit, Hilary McKay and Helen Cresswell.

7. What was your favourite book when you were a child?
A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett. I used to read it aloud to make myself cry. And I named my diary Sara after Sara Crewe.

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Book Info


304 pages
Interest Age: From 10


Anna Carey
More books by Anna Carey


O'Brien Press Ltd

Publication date

17th October 2016




Publisher Profile

O'Brien Press Ltd is an imprint of O'Brien


The O'Brien Press is Ireland's leading general publisher of both adult and children's books. Our list covers a huge range, including biography, humour, photography, history, art, fiction, politics, cookery, sport, music, memoir, true crime and travel and we are constantly expanding into new and exciting areas.

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