Herstory: 50 Women and Girls Who Shook Up the World

illus. by Sarah Walsh. 112p. appendix. chron. glossary. index. S. & S. Sept. 2018. Tr$19.99. ISBN 9781534436640.
Gr 5–8—From its oversize dimensions to its fantastic use of color, this volume draws readers into the life of each woman it profiles. Spread-length biographical introductions offer basic facts and also convey the significance of each subject's life in the larger sphere of women's history. The artwork that accompanies each personal history is a combination of photographs, folk art–style illustrations and embellishments, and quintessential quotes, rendered in calligraphy, from each subject. The result evokes a treasured, hand-crafted scrapbook rather than a dry, biographical dictionary. The vignettes are organized into five aphoristic categories: "Believe & Lead," "Imagine & Create," "Help & Heal," "Think & Solve," "Hope & Overcome." Several of the essays cover popular and expected choices, but the authors also include a diverse selection in this compendium. For example, Elizabeth I, Georgia O'Keeffe, and Helen Keller appear along with Theresa Kachindamoto, Mary Seacole, and Noor Inayat Khan. The sketches are written at an upper elementary level, with no birth or death dates highlighted in the entries, but a "When They Were Born" appendix covers that information, followed by a basic glossary and index. The only things missing from this charming work are suggestions for further inquiry.
VERDICT This joyful introduction to significant women throughout history is highly recommended for upper elementary and middle school nonfiction collections.

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