LIVES OF EXTRAORDINARY WOMEN by Kathleen Krull
Kirkus Star

LIVES OF EXTRAORDINARY WOMEN

Rulers, Rebels (and What the Neighbors Thought)
From the "What the Neighbors Thought" series
by , illustrated by
Age Range: 8 - 12

KIRKUS REVIEW

“Well-behaved women rarely make history” is the pendant to this collection of 20 brief biographies in what is now the masterly style of this dynamite team’s previous “Lives of . . .” books. Krull packs an astonishing amount of information in three to five pages of biography for these female rulers, smoothly tucking in interesting bits: the English most outraged at Joan of Arc’s wearing men’s clothing; Catherine the Great’s fondness for intellectual young men; Nzingha the West African queen’s miraculous escapes up to the age of 82. She clearly defines when historical gossip might have skewed the real story, as with Marie Antoinette and the Chinese empress Tz’u-hsi, but doesn’t shrink from sometimes unpleasant truths such as Gertrude Bell’s suicide or Indira Gandhi’s assassination. Hewitt’s illustrations remain dazzling: the oversized heads of the full-page figures sport headgear eminently suitable: Jeannette Rankin wears the Capitol dome and Aung San Suu Kyi her trademark flowers. Artifacts related to the women’s stories appear as incidental images. Fabulous reading, great for research, deliciously and subversively feminist, this will sit happily on the shelf with the presidents, artists, musicians, and others this duo has covered so well. (bibliography) (Biography. 8-12)

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 2000
ISBN: 0-15-200807-1
Page count: 96pp
Publisher: Harcourt
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15th, 2000




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