Book Review: Rad American Women A-Z by Kate Schatz and Miriam Klein Stahl
Please go buy this book. Buy it for your library, your classroom, your kids, your friends’ kids, your neighbors, yourself. Maybe, just to be safe, buy like 10 copies, so you have plenty to hand out for gifts. This book would make a great graduation present, a birthday present for kids of all ages, and a great gift for your adult friends, too.
Can you guess that I’m kind of into this book? Because I am.
Rad American Women A-Z: Rebels, Trailblazers, and Visionaries Who Shaped Our History… and Our Future! written by Kate Schatz and illustrated by Miriam Klein Stahl chronicles 26 American women who made an impact. Short biographies detail their major contributions while giving just enough background information to understand the women and their work in some context. The conversational tone makes the biographies accessible for readers of various ages. You could hand this to a 10-year-old just as easily as a 16-year-old.
The women included in this book often faced racism, sexism, classism, homophobia, transphobia, and more. They are artists, journalists, pilots, scientists, judges, doctors, athletes, musicians, activists, dancers, teachers, writers, anthropologists, and many other things. They fought for women’s rights, gay rights, equality of all kinds, the rights of the poor, the rights of the worker, for health care, and for abolition. They were fighters, dreamers, hard workers, innovators, feminists, humanitarians, leaders, and icons.
The diverse women they showcase come from a wide variety of backgrounds. Just a sampling of the women in this book: Angela Davis, the Grimke sisters, Kate Bornstein, Patti Smith, Sonia Sotomayor, Virginia Apger, Wilma Mankiller, and 18 others. Did you just count? That makes 25. I loved the entry for the letter X. “X is for the women whose names we don’t know. It’s for the women we haven’t learned about yet, the women whose stories we will never read. X is for the women whose voices weren’t heard.” It goes on and every word of it is fantastic.
At the end, they entreat readers to learn more about other rad women, to write reports on rad women, to ask their teachers about their favorite rad women. They offer 26 things you can do to be rad, such as act as an ally, educate yourself, listen, and stand up for what you believe. Also included is a resource guide of books, websites, and organizations. The electronic galley I read unfortunately didn’t have the art included, but I was able to see online that the bold and bright art from the cover is what’s inside, too. This is a fantastic introduction to a wide range of important women. You NEED this book.
Publisher: City Lights Books
Publication date: 4/14/2015
Review copy courtesy of Edelweiss
Filed under: Book Reviews
About Amanda MacGregor
Amanda MacGregor works in an elementary library, loves dogs, and can be found on Twitter @CiteSomething.
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