Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks are the civil rights leaders who often get the spotlight, but did you know a woman named Ella Baker, actually mentored them and played a big role in the Civil Rights Movement?
She is one of the women featured in Rad American Women A-Z by Kate Schatz. I thought it was perfect to review for Women’s History Month because the book teaches readers about “behind the scenes” heroines and some more well-known ones from A for activist Angela Davis to Z for author Zora Neale Hurston.
I loved this book because it includes a wide range of diverse women. From blacks to whites to Mexicans to Latinas, the book has a variety of different people with different races, cultures, abilities and talents. One even has autism! Because of her autism, Temple Grandin, had a unique connection to animals and was able to teach farmers and ranchers how to reduce suffering and anxiety of their animals.
I didn’t know most of the people in this book, which was a good thing, because I learned a lot, and even my mom only knew one third of them! I learned about other women like the Grimke sisters who were white abolitionists. And Yuri Kochiyama, a second-generation Japanese American who fought for the rights of all people.
My favorite story was the one about Hazel Scott, a famous TV show host, composer and actress, who faced racism in her career because she was black. But she pushed through it and was still successful. I liked her story so much that I found some of her music to listen to. It was cool.
I was surprised to find out how many women did things that changed lives. For example, Virginia Apgar, who created the Apgar Score, a quick and efficient way to evaluate a newborn’s health.
I recommend this book to readers who are ages 10 to 13 because some of the topics are complex, like the story of author Kate Bornstein, who is transgender. If you like the book Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls, you will like this book. They both merge together many women who shaped history.
I loved this book! It gets 4 out of 4 roses.