“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)