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NONFICTION

Women’s Right To Vote

Random. (History Smashers). Jul. 2020. 224p. pap. $7.99. ISBN 9780593120347.
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Gr 3-7–Messner’s middle grade nonfiction title aims to shatter common misconceptions about how women achieved the right to vote in the United States. Most people learn that the fight for women’s rights was started at the Seneca Falls convention in New York in 1848; however, the women’s suffrage movement began much earlier. Messner details the parts of women’s suffrage that are often overlooked: Why are Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton often portrayed as the face of the movement but not others? How did women’s suffrage impact Black women? Messner’s readable tone will have appeal for younger readers (fifth grade and under). The book uses sidebars to bring in other points of interest, such as math skills (how many votes did an amendment need to pass?) and the personal politics of notable advocates (were many of the central figures of the movement racist?). Meconis’s cartoons and illustrations bring the narrative to life.
VERDICT Messner and Meconis provide a timely perspective on an important part of American history.

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