Schatz and Stahl (Rad American Women A-Z, 2015, etc.) partner again to present young women and girls who have achieved great things.
The subjects of the powerful profiles in this book are mostly teenagers, some as young as 10 at the beginnings of their journeys to greatness. Most readers will know such names as Anne Frank and Malala Yousafzai, but they will learn many new names as well. Stories like those of Misty Copeland, the American Ballet Theatre’s first African-American principal ballerina, and Yusra Mardini, the young Syrian swimmer who pulled 18 other refugees through the sea to safety, engage readers with emotional depth and demonstrate the value of perseverance. Various ethnic, cultural, and religious backgrounds are represented in this mix of modern and historical figures, though most are from the United States and born within the past 100 years. The black-and-white papercut illustrations give a memorable impression of each girl profiled. The careful inclusion of Jazz Jennings, Janet Mock, and Amandla Stenberg makes room for multiple constructions of girlhood. Carefully researched and utterly compelling, this volume is hard to put down. At the end, a blank profile asks the reader to fill in their own rad reality and dreams for making the world a better place. Eight pages of “More Rad Girls” offer many more names to look up, and the opening “Note on Gender” acknowledges heroes and readers of all gender identities while upholding the value of a volume with girls at the center.
Engaging and inspiring. (sources, index) (Collective biography. 10-16)