Monday, November 6, 2017

She Persisted: 13 American Women Who Changed the World - Chelsea Clinton and Alexandra Boiger (Illustrator)


Summary:  Throughout American history, there have always been women who have spoken out for what's right, even when they had to fight to be heard.  In early 2017, Senator Elizabeth Warren's refusal to be silenced in the Senate inspired a spontaneous celebration of women who persevered in the face of adversity.  In this book, Chelsea Clinton celebrates thirteen American women who helped shape our country through their tenacity -- sometimes through speaking out, sometimes by staying seated, sometimes by captivating an audience.  They all certainly persisted. She Persisted is for everyone who has ever wanted to speak up but has been told to quiet down, for everyone who has ever tried to reach for the stars but was told to sit down, and for everyone who has ever been made to feel unworthy or unimportant or small.  With vivid, compelling art by Alexandra Boiger, this book shows readers that no matter what obstacles may be in their paths, they shouldn't give up on their dreams.  Persistence is power. (Summary from inside flap of book)


My Review:  She Persisted is a thoughtful, empowering, and emotional read all wrapped up in a beautifully illustrated children's book.  I read it to my four girls (ages 13, 11, 7, and 5), whom I am endeavoring to raise to be kind, strong, educated, and persistent women and actually got a little choked up while reading.  With engaging illustrations (showing the characters first as children and later as adults) and the kind of informative brevity I appreciate in a children's book, Clinton and Boiger bring to light the struggles, sacrifices, and strides of the following feminine figures: Harriet Tubman, Hellen Keller, Clara Lemlich, Nellie Bly, Virgina Apgar (yes, that Apgar), Maria Tallchief, Claudette Colvin, Ruby Bridges, Margaret Chase Smith, Sally Ride, Florence Griffith Joyner, Oprah Winfrey, and Sonia Sotomayor.  Each historical vignette also featured a personal quote that provided the sort of gutsy-go-get-em-girl inspiration that I hope to ingrain in my girls.  While some of the prose in this book probably flew over the head of my five year old, the rest were quite engaged and it's certainly never too early (or too late) to introduce the concept of morality, equality, and persistence.

Now, I know there are some people out there who probably turned up their nose at this book (and possibly even this review) because of the last name attached to its author.  To those people I say, don't be lame.  Yes, this book was probably supposed to have 14 women featured in it, but given the outcome of the general election, it does not (though Hillary does have a small illustrative cameo).  Now, I'm not a huge Clinton fan (nor am I a Trumpet), but thankfully you don't have to be a fan of either politician to appreciate this book.   I closed this book feeling like my girls could do anything they set their minds to and I hope they felt the same.  I recommend this book to anyone trying to raise a strong-minded, sensational human being.

For the sensitive reader:  If you are in the far far left or far far right of any political party, you'll likely get your knickers in a twist over something.  Maybe pick up some Dr. Seuss instead.

My Rating: 4.5 Stars

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