February 17, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Feminism From A to Z by Gayle E. Pitman | SLJ Review

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redstarPITMAN, Gayle E. Feminism From A to Z. 288p. bibliog. diag. illus. index. websites. Magination. Oct. 2017. pap. $15.95. ISBN 9781433827211.
Gr 9 Up –Energetic and engaging, this primer on feminism covers a wide variety of subjects. Each letter’s chapter covers a topic in three parts: a story or personal anecdote followed by in-depth discussion on the topic. The “Feminist Herstory” section highlights people who were leaders in the area or provides more historical background in general. Each chapter ends with “Try This!” activities ranging from crafts to answering questions. For instance, in “P is for Privilege,” the 46 statements Peggy McIntosh published about privilege are included and followed by questions readers might have. The book ends with 26 actions to take, an extensive bibliography, and an index. The narrative stresses how gender stereotypes negatively impact both men and women. Pittman also addresses the unique situations experienced by trans women. The artwork is mostly a collection of real-life ads, news articles, diagrams, and other media. A color sketch of each letter, usually set in a collage featuring the subject, starts each chapter. There is an inaccuracy in the text when it mentions that Gloria Steinem’s paternal grandmother came to the States after helping family flee the Holocaust when she had actually immigrated much earlier. VERDICT Pittman does an excellent job of making complex topics understandable and relatable while providing tips on actions people can take to bring more equality to the world. A great purchase for both public and high school libraries.–Tamara Saarinen, Pierce County Library, WA

This review was published in the School Library Journal November 2017 issue.

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