We are thrilled to announce that Lauren Gardner has sold World All Language rights for Ellen Ryan’s Girls Who Slay Monsters to Catherine Gough, Commissioning editor at HarperCollins Ireland after a five-way bidding war!
Illustrated by Shona Shirley Macdonald, the book of goddess stories aimed at young readers, with inclusive characters and storylines, will be published on 29th September.
From mermaids and fashionistas to athletes and farmers, meet goddesses of all shapes and sizes from Ireland’s ancient myths. Stand by their sides as they wield magic, fight monsters, and protect the powerless. Have you heard of Eithne the supernatural scholar or Fand the shape-shifting eco-warrior? What about Bé Mannair, a gender-fluid spy who challenges anentire army, or Bé Binn, a giantess who overcomes the bullies who body shamed her?
In Girls Who Slay Monsters, powerful and vivid storytelling reveals an important part of Ireland’s cultural heritage – and a borderless feminist inheritance – with utterly breath-taking illustrations. These daring deeds of forgotten Irish goddesses will capture the hearts and imaginations of readers.
Ellen Ryan says: This has been a passion project for me, which started when I took a trip to an Irish archaeological site and learned the land there was linked with goddesses. At school I was only taught about a few magical Irish women, often portrayed as villains, but never as gods. So, for many years after that trip, I dug through manuscripts and discovered a pantheon of goddesses whose stories could be shaped to offer new relevance today. I hope everyone enjoys these stories as much as I enjoyed crafting and bringing them to life.
Catherine Gough says: Working with Ellen on Girls Who Slay Monsters has been a dream – her exceptional writing skills combined with her careful research has produced a book that young goddesses are going to love! The stories are exciting, pacy and full of adventure, and it’s amazing to see that tales from ancient Ireland deal with such modern subjects. It’s unlike anything I’ve read in Irish mythology before. Paired with Shona Shirley Macdonald’s ornate and enchanting illustrations, this is a book that I know young readers will return to again and again.