A tribute to feminist icon, activist, and writer Gloria Steinem.
Several spreads cover Steinem’s childhood, with details loosely connected to the narrative. She challenged gender-based assumptions starting with her decision to go to college, where she loved the “ideas, books, and discussions about everything!” After graduation, instead of looking to marry and start a family, she traveled and wrote in India, where she listened to people talking through their problems. When she returned to the United States and looked for a job, instead of settling for work as a secretary or a teacher, she became a journalist and continued to listen to people and write. Her decision to attend and cover the March on Washington, her decision to co-found Ms. Magazine, and her organizing to become a leader of the women’s liberation movement are framed as natural outgrowths of her desire to listen and create space for people to be heard and to demand equal rights. The paragraphs can be dense, but the design often uses quotes by Steinem and a series of short sentences in display type (“Gloria believed. She marched. And dreamed”) to highlight a given spread’s main points. The illustrations, done in soft, natural colors, place the white feminist beside or in front of ethnically diverse groups of people.
The Ms. Magazine covers lining the endpapers promise an engaging read, but the rambling text may leave young readers uninspired. (author’s note, illustrator’s note, timeline, bibliography) (Picture book/biography. 8-12)