In eight two-page chapters, Hearne (Eliza's Dog, 1996, etc.) draws upon stories from her family to transcribe a history of feminine accomplishment. The undercurrent of personal history runs parallel to recorded history, marked mainly by war. During the time of the Revolutionary War, a great-great-great-grandmother, a Mennonite, crossed the Atlantic Ocean in a wooden boat, with two small children and another on the way. A great-grandmother rode into town on horseback, working art lessons into a day full of chores. Another grandmother became an architect, and then designed and built her family a house. The stories stress emotions (a love of art) and sympathetic human interaction (like storytelling) instead of what the author calls ""the wars that men fought."" Soft pastel illustrations by Andersen (who illustrated Sandy Sasso Eisenberg's But God Remembered, 1995, and A Prayer for the Earth, p. 146) complement these tales of quiet courage and perseverance. The young girl who narrates comes forth in the last chapter, knowing that she, too, can make history: ""There are a million ways to be brave.