Thursday, August 2, 2012

Rightfully Ours: How Women Won the Vote by Kerrie Logan Hollihan

There are many things today that women and girls take for granted: wearing pants, speaking in public, going to school, keeping their own last name when they get married. One of the biggest rights, though, has been the right to vote in elections. In the 1800s and early 1900s, women were viewed as belonging to their fathers or husbands; they were expected to dedicate their lives to their families. Many women, though, wanted more. They believed that they best way to achieve this was to push for social change - increased rights for women and ultimately the right to vote. These women included Lucy Stone, Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Sojourner Truth, Alice Paul, and many others. In Rightfully Ours: How Women Won the Vote, this history is presented so that the boys and girls of today can learn about the barriers that the women of the past overcame.

When I was younger I had very little exposure to books about women's history or feminist figures, so I'm always happy to see books about suffrage and women's rights aimed at a young age group. This book weaves together a narrative about the troubles and setbacks that these women faced and the accomplishments that they achieved alongside biographical sketches of the prominent figures and activities related to the text for kids to do on their own. The book illustrates how intertwined many different issues were and are; it's nearly impossible to discuss the rights of women without looking at American history in general but also the temperance movement, slavery, the Civil War, and religion. It's packed with information but also lots of great images and first-person accounts.   It was neat to discover the ties that things like The Wizard of Oz or "Mary Had a Little Lamb" had to the suffrage movement. The activities spread out throughout the book provide an interactive approach to understanding the life and times of the women depicted. It's hard to know how popular or practical these activities will be - some involve a stove or oven while others require a lot of materials that one might not have just laying around the house - but with the range of activities presented (twenty-one in total) there will likely be something that catches a reader's eye. I can also see teachers being interested in this for use in the classroom. It's a great title to have on the shelf for a school, classroom, or public library.

Check out Kerrie Logan Hollihan's website.

I received a review copy from NetGalley courtesy of Chicago Review Press.

Find it at Indiebound.

Read it with:
Elizabeth I: The People's Queen by Kerrie Logan Hollihan
Wheels of Change by Sue Macy
You Wouldn't Want to Be a Suffragist! by Fiona Macdonald

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