A bracing, vivacious account of a pioneering woman.

WHO SAYS WOMEN CAN'T BE DOCTORS?

THE STORY OF ELIZABETH BLACKWELL

“Women cannot be doctors. They should not be doctors.” Elizabeth Blackwell received 28 rejections from medical schools before one accepted her.

Stone takes a lively and conversational approach to the life of the first female doctor in the United States. A tiny but adventurous girl, Elizabeth Blackwell once carried her brother over her head until he stopped fighting with her, and she got the idea to go to medical school from a sick friend who confided that she would much rather be examined by a woman. When Geneva Medical School in New York state accepted her, she didn’t know that the (male) student body had voted on her acceptance as a joke, but she graduated with the top grades in her class. Priceman’s swirly and vivid gouache-and–India ink artwork is an excellent foil for the text, which directly addresses young readers’ own experience while reminding them that in the 1840s, things were different, and that one very determined girl had changed that. The author’s note describes the difficulties Dr. Blackwell experienced setting up her practice and her career treating the poor women and children of New York City. It also notes that today, more than half of all students in U.S. medical schools are women.

A bracing, vivacious account of a pioneering woman. (Picture book/biography. 5-9)

Pub Date: Feb. 19, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-8050-9048-2

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: Dec. 1, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2012

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A worthy message delivered with a generous dose of inclusivity.

STACEY'S REMARKABLE BOOKS

Sharing books brings children from multiple backgrounds together in this companion to Stacey’s Extraordinary Words (2021).

Again lightly burnishing actual childhood memories, voting rights activist and former gubernatorial candidate Abrams recalls reaching out as a young book lover to Julie, a new Vietnamese classmate shy about reading in English. Choosing books to read and discuss together on weekly excursions to the school’s library, the two are soon joined by enough other children from Gambia, South Korea, and elsewhere that their beaming librarian, Mr. McCormick, who is dark-skinned, sets up an after-school club. Later, Julie adds some give and take to their friendship by helping Stacey overcome her own reluctance to join the other children on the playground. Though views of the library seen through a faint golden haze flecked with stars go a little over the top (school librarians may disagree), Thomas fills the space with animated, bright-eyed young faces clustering intimately together over books and rendered in various shades beneath a range of hairstyles and head coverings. The author underscores the diversity of the cast by slipping scattered comments in Spanish, Wolof, and other languages into the dialogue and, after extolling throughout the power of books and stories to make new friends as well as open imaginations to new experiences and identities, brings all of her themes together in an afterword capped by an excellent list of recommended picture books. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

A worthy message delivered with a generous dose of inclusivity. (Picture-book memoir. 6-9)

Pub Date: Dec. 13, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-06-327185-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Nov. 16, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2022

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MANJHI MOVES A MOUNTAIN

One determined man brings two villages together with a hammer, chisel, and an iron will.

Deep in the heart of India, a mighty mountain separates two villages. Manjhi lives on one side, where nothing grows. On the other, rice and wheat flourish. The people there are affluent, while Manjhi’s village struggles with hunger. Manjhi climbs to the top of the mountain to ponder this problem. When he throws a stone, it triggers a sprinkle of powder, which gives him an idea. Manjhi trades his trio of goats for a hammer and chisel. Hurrying back to the top of the mountain, he positions the chisel and strikes it with the hammer. Powdered rock and tiny chips spray. He continues until he’s exhausted, but he’s also filled with hope. Even though people tell him he’s “crazy,” day after day Manjhi returns to the mountain. After a year, Majhi is a little stronger, and the hole he has made a little deeper. He perseveres and, when he returns to his task each day, notices that others have continued his work. It takes 22 years, but Manjhi lives to see the day that two villages become one, sharing water, hopes, and dreams. Churnin’s prose has an elegance appropriate for her inspiring tale, which is based on a true story. Popovich’s double-page illustrations use a warm palette and are nicely composed.

Heartening. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-939547-34-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Creston

Review Posted Online: July 15, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2017

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