Mar 8, 2013

Shaping History- One Woman at a Time

Okay, okay, okay... despite my persistent pouting about the arbitrary and somewhat restrictive aspects of designating "months" for various important shapers of history, March is what it is- Women's History Month. That presents a perfect opportunity to feature three eloquent biographies about women whose lives transformed America and influenced the world. If that sounds like hyperbole, I challenge you to read these books and see if you don't agree.
In each case I've also linked to reviews on blogs you may want to follow.
Balzer + Bray, 2013

Let's start with BRAVE GIRL: CLARA and the SHIRTWAIST MAKERS' STRIKE of 1909  by Michelle Markel, illustrated by Melissa Sweet. On Goodereads I wrote:

Clara Lemlich's role in the early labor movement (International Ladies Garment Workers Union) is stirringly portrayed in words and images. Pair this with Littlefield's FIRE IN THE TRIANGLE FACTORY or Gunderson's graphic history: THE TRIANGLE SHIRTWAIST FACTORY FIRE for engaging discussions about labor history in the early 1900's.

For more details read this review on the Prairie Lights Books blog.

Albert Whitman & Co., 2012
Then take time to read and appreciate HEART ON FIRE: Susan B. Anthony Votes for President, by Ann Malaspina, illustrated by Steve James. Here's my note from Goodreads:
Numerous titles share the story of Susan B. Anthony and her role in securing women's right to vote. In most cases the event featured in this title is mentioned as one of many.This book, with immediacy and focus, tells of her decision to exercise her fourteenth amendment right to vote in the presidential election. Her subsequent trial and outspoken position in the face of a conviction were, as the text says, "Outrageous. Unbelievable. True."
Back matter offers excellent extended information to put this isolated story into the context of her life.

Here's a review from a blog by children's author Jeanne Walker Harvey, True Tales & a Cherry On Top.
Hyperion, 2009

Last, but by no means least (or final), in any discussion of biographies of amazing women, is ELEANOR, QUIET NO MORE, by Doreen Rappaport, illustrated by Gary Kelley.
From childhood on Eleanor was made to feel self-conscious and unimportant, but she seized opportunities to learn and grow. Eventually a teacher "shocked" her into thinking, to seeing the world as it was, to recognize needs in others, and to serve.
Her life of service is described in accessible text and illustrated in luminous images and direct quotations.

Check out this review on a  blog worth following this month and always, A Mighty Girl.

And just to show what a good sport I can be about these monthly themes I'll suggest a few other posts that feature titles you won't want to miss:

I recommend that KidLit Celebrates should be your first stop, and bookmark it for future reference. After that stop by TeachWithPictureBooks, which has been inactive lately but offers archives rich with worthy titles and resources. Finally, you can't go wrong following the School LIbrary Journal blog.

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