A timeline that starts in January 1777, when Mary Katherine Goddard printed the first full copy of the Declaration of Independence, and ends with the women’s suffrage amendment passed in 1920 opens this fine history of how women got the vote in the United States.
Hollihan covers the eight decades of struggle for women’s suffrage with plentiful illustrations, numerous sidebars and a straightforward ability to explain words and ideas in context. The stories, struggles and great work of Lucy Stone, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony and Alice Paul are laid out, as well as Angelina and Sarah Grimké, Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth, Jane Addams and many other women famed and lesser-known. Hollihan is particularly good at tracing, in language middle-graders can understand, how little control women had over their lives and persons. She also does not gloss over the deep divisions between white women and African-American women, and between the conservative and radical movements within women’s suffrage associations. The only downside is the activities, which range from slightly silly (dress up like an ancient Greek for suffrage!) to simply wrong (cake mix does not taste as good as a cake made from scratch).
For young readers not quite ready for Ann Bausum’s masterly With Courage and Cloth (2004), the survey offers a powerful lesson in the vindication of the rights of women. (resources, index [not seen]) (Nonfiction. 8-12)