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  • Writer's pictureNZ Booklovers

Emma by Jessica Lawry


When Emma Twigg started rowing it was difficult and not always fun, but she stuck with it and became a world-class rower. So, winning an Olympic medal would be easy, right? Wrong. This is the true story of Twigg who over 20 years proved she was more than worthy of claiming victory.


Written and illustrated by Jessica Lawry, this is Twigg's story of resilience, hard graft, teamwork and self belief. Lawry met Twigg when they were studying and even then, Twigg's attitude of perseverance and resilience spoke to Lawry as both a parent and a school teacher.


Lawry's illustrations are realistic but exciting - she portrays Twigg in just about every emotion, showing her hard work and determination. There's some great compositions within the book that portray the excitement and nerves that we've all felt watching our athletes compete.


Lawry uses all her teaching skills to write a captivating story. She combines facts with creativity, verging on creative non-fiction. She uses some great literary devices, we loved the image of darkness creeping along the river banks and over the water, or Twigg's support crew being silenced by heavy rain.


Few have worked harder for a gold medal than Twigg. This book will help inspire the next generation - not just for those with sporting goals though. Twigg shows our younger generation that with team work, perseverance and belief, anything is possible.


Reviewed by Rebekah Lyell

Upstart Press, RRP $19.99

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