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Book Review: Brazen: Rebel Ladies Who Rocked the World by Pénélope Bagieu

Publisher’s description

brazenThroughout history and across the globe, one characteristic connects the daring women of Brazen: their indomitable spirit.

With her characteristic wit and dazzling drawings, celebrated graphic novelist Pénélope Bagieu profiles the lives of these feisty female role models, some world famous, some little known. From Nellie Bly to Mae Jemison or Josephine Baker to Naziq al-Abid, the stories in this comic biography are sure to inspire the next generation of rebel ladies.

 

 

 

 

Amanda’s thoughts

This is exactly the kind of book I love to give as a gift. I’m always on the lookout for excellent books featuring strong women to either send to children of friends or use as graduation gifts etc. Get this on your radar if you do the same.

 

This 300+ page volume is filled with charming, lovely, vibrant art that brings to life the biographies of 29 women throughout history. Each biography runs 3-7 pages and Bagieu infuses her characters and conversations with so much humor and life. If you are a Kate Beaton fan, you’ll be into these comics. The women profiled in this collection go beyond the usual people we find in books like this. In fact, I should probably be embarrassed to say, I hadn’t ever heard of a fair number of these women. Bagieu writes about Clementine Delait, who in the early 1900s, became rich and famous as a bar owner/tender and cafe owner, and also because of her beard (in the illustrations, Delait repeatedly irritatedly asks people, “What is wrong with you?” when they ask to touch it or suggest she join a circus). Readers learn about Margaret Hamilton, who was Wicked Witch of the West in The Wizard of Oz; Las Mariposas, revolutionary sisters in the Dominican Republic; mid-to-late 1800s warrior and shaman Lozen; entertainer and swimsuit innovator Annette Kellerman; painter and Moomin creator Tove Jansson; Liberian social worker Laymah Gbowee; Christine Jorgensen, one of the first Americans to undergo gender confirmation surgery; Temple Grandin, autism spokesperson and animal behavior specialist; Afghanistan-born rapper Sonita Alizadeh; singer Betty Davis; rock group The Shaggs; crime miniaturist Frances Glessner Lee, and many others.

 

This inclusive look at noteworthy women is a must for all collections. Not only is it gorgeous to look at, but the choice to write about so many women who are less well known helps this stand out from the other (great) books similar to this. Long live unconventional women!

 

Review copy courtesy of the publisher

ISBN-13: 9781626728691
Publisher: First Second
Publication date: 03/06/2018

Book Review: Bold Women of Medicine: 21 Stories of Astounding Discoveries, Daring Surgeries, and Healing Breakthroughs by Susan M. Latta

Publisher’s description

ra6Meet 21 determined women who have dedicated their lives to healing others. In the 19th century, Florence Nightingale and Clara Barton—the “Lady with the Lamp” and the “Angel of the Battlefield”—earned their nicknames by daring to enter battlefields to aid wounded soldiers, forever changing the standards of medicine. Modern-day medical heroines such as Bonnie Simpson Mason, who harnessed the challenges of her chronic illness and founded an organization to introduce women and minorities to orthopedic surgery, and Kathy Magliato, who jumped the hurdles to become a talented surgeon in the male-dominated arena of heart transplants, will inspire any young reader interested in the art, science, and lifechanging applications of medicine. Lovers of adventure will follow Mary Carson Breckinridge, the “nurse on horseback” who delivered babies in the Appalachian Mountains and believed that everyone, including our poorest and most vulnerable citizens, deserve good health care, and Jerri Nielsen, the doctor stationed in Antarctica who, cut off from help, had to bravely treat her own breast cancer. These and 15 other daring women inspire with their courage, persistence, and belief in the power of both science and compassion.

Packed with photos and informative sidebars and including source notes and a bibliography, Bold Women of Medicine is an invaluable addition to any student’s or aspiring doctor or nurse’s bookshelf.

 

Amanda’s thoughts

bold womenThis is a great book to have on display during Women’s History Month, or as part of your science display, or to have at the ready for students needing to do a biographical report on someone possibly less well known. Have a careers section in your library? Stick this face-out there. Does your school have a health careers class or track, as the high school I used to work at does? Make sure that teacher and their students know about this book. While some readers will likely read this whole thing from cover to cover, it will probably be most useful for those looking for information about one specific woman or time period. Though the biographies are brief and include pictures as well as sidebars, it’s still a lot of information to absorb. The book includes the women many have heard of, like Elizabeth Blackwell, Clara Barton, Florence Nightingale, and Virginia Apgar, but also includes many more that may be less well know. One chapter is dedicated to Rebecca Lee Crumpler and Rebecca Cole, the first African American women physicians (circa 1860-ish). Others include Civil War surgeon Mary Edwards Walker; Native American (Omaha tribe) doctor Susan LaFlesche Picotte; Catherine Hamlin, a gynecologist who worked in Ethiopia from 1959 on; Edna Adan Ismail, a Somaliland pioneer in the movement to end female genital mutilation, and many more. An interesting, thorough look at the lives, careers, and achievements of these inspirational women. 

 

Review copy courtesy of the publisher

ISBN-13: 9781613734377

Publisher: Chicago Review Press, Incorporated

Publication date: 09/01/2017

Series: Women of Action Series

Book Review: Rad American Women A-Z by Kate Schatz and Miriam Klein Stahl

Please go buy this book. Buy it for your library, your classroom, your kids, your friends’ kids, your neighbors, yourself. Maybe, just to be safe, buy like 10 copies, so you have plenty to hand out for gifts. This book would make a great graduation present, a birthday present for kids of all ages, and a great gift for your adult friends, too.

 

Can you guess that I’m kind of into this book? Because I am. 

 

Rad American Women A-Z: Rebels, Trailblazers, and Visionaries Who Shaped Our History… and Our Future! written by Kate Schatz and illustrated by Miriam Klein Stahl chronicles 26 American women who made an impact. Short biographies detail their major contributions while giving just enough background information to understand the women and their work in some context. The conversational tone makes the biographies accessible for readers of various ages. You could hand this to a 10-year-old just as easily as a 16-year-old.

 

The women included in this book often faced racism, sexism, classism, homophobia, transphobia, and more. They are artists, journalists, pilots, scientists, judges, doctors, athletes, musicians, activists, dancers, teachers, writers, anthropologists, and many other things. They fought for women’s rights, gay rights, equality of all kinds, the rights of the poor, the rights of the worker, for health care, and for abolition. They were fighters, dreamers, hard workers, innovators, feminists, humanitarians, leaders, and icons.

 

The diverse women they showcase come from a wide variety of backgrounds. Just a sampling of the women in this book: Angela Davis, the Grimke sisters, Kate Bornstein, Patti Smith, Sonia Sotomayor, Virginia Apger, Wilma Mankiller, and 18 others. Did you just count? That makes 25. I loved the entry for the letter X. “X is for the women whose names we don’t know. It’s for the women we haven’t learned about yet, the women whose stories we will never read. X is for the women whose voices weren’t heard.” It goes on and every word of it is fantastic.

 

At the end, they entreat readers to learn more about other rad women, to write reports on rad women, to ask their teachers about their favorite rad women. They offer 26 things you can do to be rad, such as act as an ally, educate yourself, listen, and stand up for what you believe. Also included is a resource guide of books, websites, and organizations. The electronic galley I read unfortunately didn’t have the art included, but I was able to see online that the bold and bright art from the cover is what’s inside, too. This is a fantastic introduction to a wide range of important women. You NEED this book.

 

ISBN-13: 9780872866836

Publisher: City Lights Books

Publication date: 4/14/2015

Review copy courtesy of Edelweiss