Belva Lockwood was a teacher, a lawyer (first woman to enter the bar of the U.S. Supreme Court), a suffragist, and a presidential candidate.
This remarkable woman stands out for many reasons, including her two presidential campaigns in 1884 and 1888. Belva’s awareness of women’s issues came early. She became a teacher at 14 but found out that she was only paid half of a man’s salary. Later, her father did not want her to attend college (even though she was 24, already a widow and a mother), and the college she attended did not want her to study what were traditionally men’s subjects: “math, science and politics.” Law school proved to be an even bigger challenge. After she was finally allowed to attend, she was denied a diploma upon graduation and had to demand it from President Ulysses S. Grant (also the president of the law school). She is also known for winning a major Supreme Court case on behalf of the Cherokee nation. This is an engaging introduction to a woman unknown to many, young and old, giving some insight into her adventurous personality. In one illustration, the white woman rides a penny-farthing bicycle (in her floor-length skirt), just like the male lawyers in Washington, D.C. Her quotes are integrated into the illustrations, executed in oils with a crackle varnish, with a look reminiscent of 19th-century folk art. Soft blues and browns predominate in the naïve paintings, lending to their antique appearance.
An excellent, well-researched model of its genre that will inspire children to do whatever they desire in life, no matter what immediate restrictions exist. (author’s note, timeline, bibliography, source notes) (Picture book/biography. 8-11)