Grace O'Malley has flown across the Atlantic, but ironically this time to England, not Ireland. This time England is her home, not her captor, but her home. If you want to learn about Grace, the doll and the 16th century person, you can right here.
Grace arrived to a grand welcome in England from her new "owner" Aida. Aida started writing to me when she was ten when her eleventh birthday was approaching. She had saved up and received birthday contributions from Grandparents, Great Grandparents and Aunts. And being a bit of a history buff, Aida had been thinking about the possibility of a historical doll for her birthday, specifically Grace O'Malley, a very early female pirate and feminist.
Aida read about Grace in her book Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls. The book has 100 stories (brief bios) about extraordinary women from the past and the present, illustrated by 60 female artists from all over the world. The illustrations are amazing. (And a book 2 is underway!)
Aida: I first discovered goodnight stories for rebel girls through a friend and I really loved it because I had never heard of many of the women in the book before - and I found the illustrations beautiful so I asked for it for Christmas. My Mum and I took it in turns to read a page to each other each night. I enjoyed hearing and learning about all the different women and would often try to find out more too.
"I think Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls has some amazing people in like Frida Kahlo, Amelia Earheart, and Ada Lovelace…It is full of so many adventures of so many heroic women-each and everyone unique which I love as it's not all about writers or all about politicians it's about loads of different people.
"I think the main reason I like Grace O’Malley is that I feel she was brave, courageous and longed for adventure(a little bit like me).I also naturally like the whole idea of grace-the way she led fleets of ships, the way she decided to literally risk her life to save her sons(what would have happened if Queen Elizabeth hadn’t taken a liking to her)and especially for a girl in the medieval period, I think it's very impressive…
"Most pirate stories I’ve ever read or watched are about men and I think that for a girl in the 16th century Grace was very different from those ladies staying at home in their puffy frocks.Grace kind of reminds me of Elizabeth Swann from Pirates of the Caribbean because of her appetite for adventure and the risks she chose to take as well as her determination and power!
And Aida offered me some great ideas for other historical Phoebe dolls. Amelia Earhart and Ada Lovelace. Thank you, Aida for such fun custom assignment!