RABBLE ROUSERS

TWENTY WOMEN WHO MADE A DIFFERENCE

Beginning with Ann Lee, mother of the Shaker movement, and ending with Doris Haddock, fighting for campaign finance reform, Harness (The Revolutionary John Adams, p. 1693, etc.) sketches in words and pictures 20 women who “dared to try to change the world.” She includes those one would hope are familiar to children—Eleanor Roosevelt, Sojourner Truth—but also includes several who are less well-known, like Mother Jones of the labor movement and Margaret Sanger. She also chronicles women who have almost vanished from historical consciousness: Frances Wright, who wrote a book about America in 1821 and fought for the education of slaves and against the legal fettering of women; or Dr. Mary Edwards Walker, an Army surgeon during the Civil War who is the only woman ever awarded the Medal of Honor (although Congress did try to take it away). Each woman’s story is told in two facing pages, with a portrait, a quote, her dates, and some illustrations of her life’s work. This makes the format accessible and attractive, but does mean that information has to be shoehorned in, and there is some awkwardness of style and phrasing. Harness also includes timelines of the abolition, women’s, labor, and civil-rights movements, which give a quick overview of where these women’s lives fit into context. She closes with extremely brief suggestions of resources, places to visit, and a ten-word glossary. Useful for school reports and for expanding the knowledge base of American women’s history. (index, bibliographies, Web Resources) (Biography. 8-12)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2003

ISBN: 0-525-47035-2

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Dutton

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2002

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For every dreaming girl (and boy) with a pencil in hand (or keyboard) and a story to share. (Memoir/poetry. 8-12)

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BROWN GIRL DREAMING

A multiaward–winning author recalls her childhood and the joy of becoming a writer.

Writing in free verse, Woodson starts with her 1963 birth in Ohio during the civil rights movement, when America is “a country caught / / between Black and White.” But while evoking names such as Malcolm, Martin, James, Rosa and Ruby, her story is also one of family: her father’s people in Ohio and her mother’s people in South Carolina. Moving south to live with her maternal grandmother, she is in a world of sweet peas and collards, getting her hair straightened and avoiding segregated stores with her grandmother. As the writer inside slowly grows, she listens to family stories and fills her days and evenings as a Jehovah’s Witness, activities that continue after a move to Brooklyn to reunite with her mother. The gift of a composition notebook, the experience of reading John Steptoe’s Stevie and Langston Hughes’ poetry, and seeing letters turn into words and words into thoughts all reinforce her conviction that “[W]ords are my brilliance.” Woodson cherishes her memories and shares them with a graceful lyricism; her lovingly wrought vignettes of country and city streets will linger long after the page is turned.

For every dreaming girl (and boy) with a pencil in hand (or keyboard) and a story to share. (Memoir/poetry. 8-12)

Pub Date: Aug. 28, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-399-25251-8

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Nancy Paulsen Books

Review Posted Online: June 25, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2014

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A stellar collaboration that introduces an important and intriguing individual to today’s readers.

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BECOMING MUHAMMAD ALI

From the Becoming Ali series , Vol. 1

Two bestselling authors imagine the boyhood of the man who became the legendary boxing icon Muhammad Ali.

Cassius was a spirited child growing up in segregated Louisville, Kentucky. He had a loving home with his parents and younger brother, Rudy. Granddaddy Herman also was an important figure, imparting life lessons. His parents wanted him to succeed in school, but Cassius had difficulty reading and found more pleasure in playing and exploring outdoors. Early on, he and Rudy knew the restrictions of being African American, for example, encountering “Whites Only” signs at parks, but the brothers dreamed of fame like that enjoyed by Black boxer Joe Louis. Popular Cassius was especially close to Lucius “Lucky” Wakely; despite their academic differences, their deep connection remained after Lucky received a scholarship to a Catholic school. When Cassius wandered into the Columbia Boxing Gym, it seemed to be destiny, and he developed into a successful youth boxer. Told in two voices, with prose for the voice of Lucky and free verse for Cassius, the narrative provides readers with a multidimensional view of the early life of and influences on an important figure in sports and social change. Lucky’s observations give context while Cassius’ poetry encapsulates his drive, energy, and gift with words. Combined with dynamic illustrations by Anyabwile, the book captures the historical and social environment that produced Muhammad Ali.

A stellar collaboration that introduces an important and intriguing individual to today’s readers. (bibliography) (Biographical novel. 8-12)

Pub Date: Oct. 5, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-316-49816-6

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Jimmy Patterson/HMH Books

Review Posted Online: Aug. 4, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2020

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