A Vote for Susanna: The First Woman Mayor

Albert Whitman. (She Made History). Oct. 2021. 32p. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780807553138.
Gr 2-4–Ed wants to know if boys can bake cakes, too, or if baking is only for girls. His grandmother Dora tells him the story of Susanna Salter, a woman who defied the gender norms of her era and became the U.S.’s first female mayor when she was elected in Argonia, Kansas in 1887. The book ends with a surprising twist. Students will appreciate the straightforward language and engaging images. The colorful illustrations are appealing enough to intrigue curious readers. Historical details in the images support comprehension of the narrative and anchor students in an unfamiliar place and time. Teachers will appreciate the author’s message and theme. There is also a clear application with social studies and history standards. The book is based on solid historical research and the research method is discussed in the back matter; librarians even get a mention! The back matter also includes images of and more information about Salter.
VERDICT An engaging work of narrative nonfiction that has clear applications in classrooms and school libraries. Recommended for elementary collections.

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