Rebecca studied English in Trinity College, graduating with a First Class Honours degree in 2010. She was then lucky enough to be part of the university’s inaugural M.Phil in Children’s Literature in 2011. She is currently in the second year of a PhD in children’s literature in Trinity College, funded by the Irish Research Council. She thinks herself very lucky to have a job that lets her read children’s books every day, and talk about them until she is blue in the face. When she is not reading and writing about children’s books, she is talking about them, on her radio show for RTE Jr called The Word! It’s a show that lets kids have a say about the books they’re reading, and the books they want to read.
One of my favourite classic books is Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm by Kate Douglas Wiggin, which first came out way back in 1903. It’s the story of Rebecca Rowena Randall – isn’t that the most wonderful name! – and her life with her two stern aunts, Miranda and Jane in a the tiny fictional village of Riverboro in Maine, in the United State. She spends her time inspiring her aunts and driving them up the wall in equal measure, facing ordinary and extraordinary trials as she starts to grow up. I love this book because I’m named after Rebecca Randall! My mother read it when she was twelve and decided that if she ever had a little girl of her own, she’d call her Rebecca. So I read about Sunnybrook Farm for the first time when I was twelve, and it was the most magical feeling in the world to know that I shared my name with a character who was so imaginative and charming, kind … and more than a little bit clumsy!
Top Five Favourite Children’s Books:
Beyond the Deep Woods by Paul Stewart, illustrated by Chris Riddell
Mossflower by Brian Jacques
The Earthsea Cycle by Ursula Le Guin
Across the Nightingale Floor by Lian Hearn
Homecoming by Cynthia Voigt