In spare and elegant free verse, Malaspina shares a vivid act of civil disobedience.
Susan B. Anthony registered to vote in Rochester, N.Y., on November 1, 1872. She and 15 other women cast their ballots four days later, hoping that the new 14th Amendment, which stated that “All persons born or naturalized in the United States…are citizens of the United States,” would permit all women the right to vote. Instead, she was arrested and brought to trial, found guilty because women were not permitted the vote, and fined $100, which she never paid. James fills the pages with strongly modeled images and many close-ups of Susan’s face and the faces of judge, jury, police officers and followers. He makes their faces mobile and intense, so children can feel the force of these ideas as well as hear the words. The refrain, set in larger and alternate type, is “Outrageous. / Unbelievable. / True,” carrying the emotion and idea forward in an accessible and powerful way. The book opens with the text of the 14th and 19th Amendments and closes with facsimiles of a newspaper cartoon, a photograph and Susan B. Anthony’s letter to her close friend Elizabeth Cady Stanton: “Well I have been & gone & done it!!—positively voted.…”
Inspiring fodder for an electoral—or any other—year. (afterword, bibliography) (Picture book/nonfiction. 5-9)