by Joy Crysdale
Published April 15th 2013 by Second Story Press
Synopsis: Ten biographies of women reformers from around the world who have made a difference in the realms of politics, social equality, disability, and women’s rights. From the work of abolitionist Sojourner Truth and women like South Africa’s anti-apartheid activist Ruth First and America’s feminist leader Gloria Steinem. Also included are Michelle Douglas, a campaigner for lesbian and gay rights, and Temple Grandin, advocate for the rights of animals and a woman who has revolutionized the way the world looks at people with autism. The collection of biographies is rounded out with the stories of France’s Olympe de Gouges, India’s Sarojini Naidu, American Joan Baez, and Canadians Leilani Muir and Shannen Koostachin.
My Review: This is a wonderful nonfiction book that highlights ten women who are role models for females everywhere. There stories are relatively short so younger readers will not be overwhelmed, yet there is enough information to tell their stories. The women range in the time they lived, where they lived, their age and what they were fighting for. Of the ten women, I had only heard of four of them. I think that is very important to note that these women are not well known, but should be. The issues dealt with concern equality for women, fighting for rights of LGBT persons in the military, rights to a safe and proper school (in Canada!), standing up to the government for forced sterilization, peace instead of participation in war, humane treatment of farm animals, and the fight against apartheid. Not only did these women fight for what they believed in, but they did it using peaceful means and at risk of being harassed, ostracized and even jailed. These women will be an inspiration to anyone who reads their stories. This book is a great jumping off point for the study of women where further research could follow. I hope there will be another book showcasing some other strong female role models. A book that needs to be in all school libraries. The publisher generously provided me with a copy of this book via Netgalley.