Bad Girls; Sirens, Jezebels, Murderesses, Thieves & Other Female Villains

YOLEN, Jane & . 2 CDs. 2:32 hrs. Live Oak Media. 2014. $22.95. ISBN 9781430117483.
Gr 4–8—Yolen and her daughter and cowriter, Stemple, gathered biographies of 26 infamous females in this romp with history's boldest women. From Delilah to Virginia Hill, listeners will meet brassy broads who operated outside the law, then hear the authors discuss whether the ladies were actually bad or merely misunderstood. Barbara Rosenblat's inviting narration is followed by Yolen and Stemple debating the merits of each historical crime. Their repartee enlivens these sassy tales of deception, murder, vanity, and self-preservation. Mother and daughter agree about shoes, but disagree about Cleopatra, Bloody Mary, Calamity Jane, and Mata Hari, along with other less well-known women, verbally jousting in a tolerant and humorous spirit. The two make it clear that history and community norms influence whether behaviors are acceptable or not. This collection will add just the right spice to history lessons for tweens and young teens.—Robin Levin, Ft. Washakie School/Community Library, W.

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